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H. R. MacMiWan 

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in 2010 with funding from 

University of British Columbia Library 




BY _ 



Heney S. King & Co. 



U.B. C. Jb .^ARY 

;at. no.H^? -Tf- Sy.s -gT^ 


^CC. NO- 


(r/.c r/fir/t^..^ of translation and reproduction arc reserved.) 


This little work has been written at the instigation of 
my American friend, Professor Youmans. When, some two 
years ago, he was in England making arrangements for 
that International Scientijic Series which he originated 
and succeeded in organizing, he urged me to contribute to 
it a volume on the Study of Sociology. Feeling that the 
general undertaking in which I am engaged, is extensive 
enough to demand all my energies, I continued for a long- 
time to resist ; and I finally yielded only to the modified 
proposal that I should furnish the ideas and materials, and 
leave the embodiment of them to some fit collahorateur. 
As might have been expected, it was difficu«lt to find one 
in all respects suitable ; and, eventually, I undertook the 
task myself. 

After thus committing myself, it occurred to me as de- 
sirable that, instead of writing the volume simply for the 


Interncitional Scientific Series, I should prepare it for pre- 
vious issue in a serial form, both here and in the United 
States. In pursuance of this idea, arrangements were made 
with the Contemporary Review to publish the successive 
chapters ;' and in America they have been simultaneously 
published in the Popular Science Monthly. Beginning 
in April, 1872, this publication by instalments has, with 
two brief intervals, since continued, and will be completed 
on the 1st October next : the issue of this volume being 
delayed until after that date. 

Since commencing the work, I have not regretted that I 
was led to undertake it. Various considerations which 
seemed needful by way of introduction to the Principles 
of Sociology, presently to be written, and which yet could 
not be conveniently included in it, have found, in this 
preliminary volume, a fit place. Much illustrative 
material also, partly accumulated during past years and 
lying unused, I have thus gained an occasion for tui-ning to 
account. Further, the opportunity has been afforded me of 
commenting on special topics which the Principles of 
Sociology could not properly recognize ; and of commenting 
on them in a style inadmissible in a purely-philosophical 
treatise — a style adapted, however, as I hope, to create such 
interest in the subject as may excite to serious pursuit of it 


In prepariDg the successive chapters for final pubHcation, 
I have, besides carefully revising them, here and there en- 
forced the argument by a further illustration. Not much, 
however, has been done in this way : the only additions 
of moment being contained in the Appendix. One of 
these, pursuing in another direction the argument con- 
cerning academic discipline, will be found among the 
notes to Chapter IX. ; and another, illustrative of the 
irrelation between intellectual culture and moral feelino- 
will be found in the notes to Chapter XV. 

London, July, 1873. 








































Over liis pipe in the village ale-house, the labom-er says very 
positively what Parliament should do about the " foot and mouth 
disease." At the farmer's market-table, his master makes the 
/ glasses jingle as, with his fist, he emphasizes the assertion that 
^' he did not get half enough compensation for his slaughtered 
beasts during the cattle-plague. These are not hesitatmg 
opinions. On a matter affecting the agricrdtural interest, state- 
ments are still as dogmatic as they were during the Anti- Corn- 
Law agitation, when, in every rural circle, you heard that the 
nation would be ruined if the lightly-taxed foreigner was allowed 
to compete in our markets with the heavily-taxed Englishman : 
a proposition held to be so self-evident that dissent from it 
implied either stupidity or knavery. 

Now, as then, may be daily heard among other classes, opinions 
just as decided and just as unwarranted. By men called educated, 
the old plea for extravagant expenditure, that " it is good for 
trade," is still continually urged with full belief in its sufficiency. 
Scarcely any decrease is observable in the fallacy that whatever 
gives employment is beneficial : no regard being had to the 
value for ulterior purposes of that which the labour produces ; 


no question being asked what would have resulted liad the 
cajiital which paid for the labour taken some other channel and 
paid for some other labour. Neither criticism nor explanation 
appreciably modifies these beliefs. When there is again an 
opening for thena they are expressed with undiminished confi- 
dence. Along with delusions of this kind go whole families of 
others. People who think that the relations between expendi- 
ture and production are so simple, naturally assume simplicity 
in other relations among social phenomena. Is there distress 
somewhere ? They suppose nothing more is required than to 
subscribe money for relieving it. On the one hand, they never 
trace the reactive effects which charitable donations work on 
bank accounts, on the surplus-capital bankers have to lend, on 
the productive activity which the capital now abstracted would 
have set up, on the number of labourers who would have re- 
ceived wages and who now go without wages — they do not 
perceive that certain necessaries of Kfe have been withheld fi'om 
one man who would have exchanged useful work for them, and 
given to another who perhaps persistently evades working. Xor, 
on the other hand, do they look beyond the immediate mitiga- 
tion of misery. They deliberately shut their eyes to the fact 
that as fast as they increase the provision for those who live 
without labour, so fast do they increase the number of those who 
live without labour ; and that with an ever- increasing distribu- 
tion of alms, there comes an ever-increasing outcry for more 
alms. Similarly throughout all their political thinking. Proxi- 
mate causes and proximate results are alone contemplated. 
There is scarcely any consciousness that the original causes are 
often numerous and widely diiferent fi-om the apparent cause ; 
and that beyond each immedi-ate result there will be multitu- 
dinous remote results, most of them quite incalculable. 

Minds in which the conceptions of social actions are thus 
rudimentary, are also minds ready to harbour wild hopes of 
benefits to be achieved by administrative agencies. In each 
Buch mind there seems to be the unexpressed postulate that 


evei'Y evil in a society admits of cure ; and that the cure lies 
within the reach, of law. " Why is not there a better inspection 
of the mercantile marine ? " asked a correspondent of the Times 
the other day : apparently forgetting that within the preceding 
twelve months the power lie invoked had lost two of its own 
vessels, and barely saved a third. " Ugly buildings are eye- 
sores, and should not be allowed," ui'ges one who is anxious for 
aesthetic cultui'e. Meanwhile, from the agent which is to 
foster good taste, there have come monuments and public 
buildings of which the less said the better ; and its chosen design 
for the Law- Courts meets with almost universal condemnatipn. 
" Why did those in authority allow such defective sanitary 
arrangements ? " was everywhere asked, after the fevers at 
Lord Londesborough's ; and this question you heard repeated, 
regardless of the fact that sanitary arrangements having such 
results in this and other cases, were themselves the outcome of 
appointed sanitary administrations — regardless of the fact that 
the authorized system had itself been the means of introducing 
foul gases into houses.^ " The State should purchase the 
railways," is confidently asserted by those who, every morning, 
read of chaos at the Admhalty, or cross-purposes in the dock- 
yards, or wretched army- organization, or diplomatic bungling 
that endangers peace, or frustration of justice by technicalities 
and costs and delays, — all without having their confidence in 
officialism shaken. " Building Acts should insui-e better venti- 
lation in small hoases," says one who either never knew or has 
forgotten that, after Messrs. Reid and Barry had spent £200,000 
in failing- to ventilate the Houses of Parliament, the First Com- 
missioner of Works proposed that, " the House should get some 
competent engineer, above suspicion of partiality, to let them 
see what ought to be done."" And similarly there are con- 
tinually cropping out in the press, and at meetings, and in 
conversations, such notions as that the State might provide 
" cheap capital " by some financial sleight of hand ; that " there 
ought to be bread- overseers appointed by Government : "•* that 

B 2 


" it is tlie duty of Government to provide a suitable national 
asylum for the reception of all illegitimate children."'* And 
here it is doubtless thought by some, as it is in France by M. de 
Lagevenais, that Government, by supplying good music, should 
exclude the bad, such as that of Offenbach.* We smile on 
reading of that French princess, celebrated for her innocent 
wonder that people should starve when there was so simple a 
remedy. But why should we smile ? A great part of the 
cui-rent political thought evinces notions of practicability not 
much more rational. 

That connexions among social phenomena should be so little 
understood, need not surprise us if we note the ideas which 
prevail respecting the connexions among much simpler pheno- 
mena. Minds left ignorant of physical causation, are unlikely 
to appreciate clearly, if at all, that causation so much more 
subtle and complex, which runs through the actions of incor- 
porated men. In almost every house, servants and those who 
employ them, alike believe that a poker leaned up in fi"ont of 
the bars, or across them, makes the fire burn ; and you will be 
told, very positively, that experience proves the efl&cacy of the 
device — the experience being that the poker has been repeatedly 
so placed and the fire has repeatedly burned ; and no com- 
jaarisons having been made with cases in which the poker was 
absent,* and all other conditions as before. In the same circles 
the old prejudice against sitting down thirteen to dinner still 
survives : there actually exists among ladies who have been at 
finishing schools of the highest character, and among some 
gentlemen who pass as intelligent, the conviction that adding or 
subtracting one from a number of people who eat together, will 
affect the fates of some among them. And this state of mind is 
afjain displayed at the card-table, by the opinion that So-and-so 
is always lucky or unlucky — that influences are at work which, 
on the average, determine more good cards to one person than 
to another. Clearly, those in whom the consciousness of causa- 


tion in these simple cases is so vague, may be expected to have 
the "wildest notions of social causation. Whoever even enter- 
tains the supposition that a jDoker put across the fire can make 
it burn, proves himself to have neither a qualitative nor a quan- 
titative idea of physical causation ; and if, during his life, his 
experiences of material objects and actions have failed to give 
him an idea so accessible and so simple, it is not likely that they 
have given him ideas of the qualitative and quantitative relations 
of Ciuse and effect holding throughout society. Hence, there is 
nothing to exckide irrational interpretations and dispr ©portioned 
hopes. Where other superstitions flourish, political superstitions 
will take root. A consciousness in which there lives the idea 
that spilling salt will be followed by some evil, obvioiisly allied 
as it is to the consciousness of the savage, filled with beliefs in 
omens and charms, gives a home to other beliefs like those of 
the savage. It may not have faith in the potency of medicine- 
bags and idols, and may even wonder how any being can 
reverence a thing shaped with his ovnx hands ; and yet it readily 
entertains subtler forms of the same feelings. For, in those 
whose modes of thought we have been contemplating, there is 
a tacit supposition that a government moulded by themselves, 
has some efiiciency beyond that natui'ally possessed by a certain 
group of citizens subsidized by the rest of the citizens. True, 
if you ask them, they may not deliberately assert that a legisla- 
tive and administrative apparatus can exert power, either mental 
or material, beyond the power proceeding from the nation itself. 
They are compelled to admit, when cross-examined, that the 
energies moving a governmental machine are energies which 
would cease were citizens to cease working and fui-nishing the 
supplies. But, nevertheless, their projects imply an unexpressed 
belief in some store of force that is not measured by taxes. 
When there arises the question — Why does not Grovermnent do 
this for us ? there is not the accompanying thought — Why does 
not Government put its hands in our pockets, and, with the 
proceeds, pay ofiicials to do this, instead of leaving us to do 


it ourselves ; but tlie accompanying tliouglit is — Why does not 
Government, out of its inexliaustible resources, yield us this 
benefit ? 

Such modes of political thinking, then, naturally go along 
with such conceptions of physical phenomena as are current. 
Just as the perpetual-motion schemer hopes, by a cunning 
arrangement of parts, to get from one end of his machine more 
energy than he puts in at the other ; so the ordinary political 
schemer is convinced that out of a legislative apparatus, properly 
devised and worked with due dexterity, may be had beneficial 
State-action without any detrimental reaction. He expects to 
get out of a stupid people the effects of intelligence, and to 
evolve from inferior citizens superior conduct. 

But while the prevalence of crude political opinions among 
those whose conceptions about simple matters are so crude, might 
be anticipated, it is surprising that the class disciplined by 
scientific culture should bring to the interpretation of social 
phenomena, methods but little in advance of those used by 
others. Now that the transformation and equivalence of forces 
is seen by men of science to hold not only throughout all in- 
organic actions, but throughout all organic actions ; now that 
even mental changes are recognized as the correlatives of cere- 
bral changes, which also conform to this principle ; and now, 
that there must be admitted the corollary, that all actions 
going on in a society are measured by certain antecedent 
energies, which disappear in effecting them, while they them- 
selves become actual or potential energies from which subse- 
quent actions arise ; it is strange that there should not have 
arisen the consciousness that these highest phenomena are to 
be studied as lower phenomena have been studied — not, of 
course, after the same physical methods, but in conformity 
with the same principles. And yet scientific men rarely dis- 
play such a consciousness. 

A mathematician who had agreed or disasreed with the view 


of Professor Tait respecting the value of Quaternions for pursu- 
ing researches in Physics, would listen with raised eyebrows 
were one without mathematical culture to express a decided 
opinion on the matter. Or, if the subject discussed was the 
doctrine of Helmholtz, that hypothetical beings occupying space 
of two dimensions, might be so conditioned that the axioms of 
our geometry would prove untrue, the mathematician would 
marvel if an affirmation or a negation came from a man who 
knew no more of the properties of space than is to be gained by 
daily converse with things around, and no more of the principles 
of reasoning than the course of business taught him. And yet, 
were we to take members of the Mathematical Society, who, 
having severally devoted themselves to the laws of quantitative 
relations, know that, simple as these are intrinsically, a life's 
study is required for the full comprehension of them — were we 
to ask each of these his opinion on some point of social policy, 
the readiness with which he answered would seem to imply that 
in these cases, where the factors of the phenomena are so 
numerous and so much involved, a general survey of men and 
things gives data for trustworthy judgments. 

Or, to contrast more fully the mode of reaching a conclusion 
which the man of science uses in his own department, with that 
which he regards as satisfactory in the department of politics, 
let us take a case from a concrete science : say, the question — 
What are the solar spots, and what constitution of the Sun is 
implied by them ? Of tentative answers to this question 

there is first "Wilson's, adopted by Su' William Herschel, that 
the visible surface of the Sun is a luminous envelope, within 
which there are cloudy envelopes covering a dark central body ; 
and that when, by some distui'bance, the luminous envelope is 
broken through, portions of the cloudy envelope and of the dark 
central body, become visible as the penumbra and umbra respec- 
tively. This hypothesis, at one time received with favoui- mainly 
because it seemed to permit that teleological interpretation which 
fequii-ed that the Sun should be habitable, accounted tolerably 


well for certain of the appearances — more especially the ajjpcar- 
ance of concavity "which the spots have when near the limb oi 
the Sun. But though Sir John Herscl el supported his father's 
hypothesis, pointing out that cyclonic action would account f oi' 
local dispersions of the photosphere, there has of late years 
become more and more manifest the fatal objection that the 
genesis of light and heat remained unexplained, and that no sup- 
position of auroral discharges did more than remove the difiBculty 
a step batk ; since, unless light and heat could be perpetually 
generated out of nothing, there must be a store of force per- 
petually l)eing expended in producing them. A counter-hypo- 
fchesis, following natui'ally from the hypothesis of nebular origin, 
is that the mass of the Sun must be incandescent ; that its in- 
candescence has been produced, and is maintained, by progress- 
ing aggregation of its once widely-diffused matter ; and that 
surrounding its molten surface there is an atmosphere of metallic 
gases continually rising, condensing to form the visible photo- 
sphere, and thence precipitating. What, in this case, are the 
solar spots ? Kirchhoff, proceeding upon the hypothesis just 
indicated, which had been set forth before he made his discoveries 
by the aid of the spectroscope, contended that the solar spots are 
simply clouds, formed of these condensed metalHc gases, so large 
as to be relatively opaque ; and he endeavoured to account for 
their changing forms as the Sun's rotation candies them away, in 
oorrespondence with this view. But the appearances as known 
to astronomers, are quite ii'reconcilable with the belief that the 
spots are simply di'ifting clouds. Do these ajjpearances, then, 
conform to the supposition of M. Faye, that the photosphere 
encloses matter which is wholly gaseous and non-luminous ; and 
that the spots are produced when occasional up-rushes from the 
interior bui'st through the photosphere ? This supposition, while 
it may be held to account for certain traits of the spots, and to 
be justified by the observed fact that there are up-mshes of gas, 
presents difficulties not readily disposed of. It does not explain 
the manifest rotation of many spots ; nor, indeed, does it seem 


really to account for tliat darkness whicli constitutes tliera spots ; 
since a non-luminous gaseous nucleus would be permeable by 
light from the remoter side of tbe photospliere, and hence holes 
thi'ough the near side of the photosphere would not look dark. 
There is, however, another hypothesis which more nearly recon- 
ciles the facts. Assuming the incandescent molten surface, the 
ascending metallic gases, and the formation of a photosphere 
at that outer limit where the gases condense ; accepting the 
suggestion of Sir John Herschel, so amply supported by evi- 
dence, that zones north and south of the Sun's equator are subject 
to violent cyclones ; this hypothesis is, that if a cyclone occurs 
within, the atmosphere of metallic gases between the molten sur- 
face and the photosphere, its vortex will become a region of rare- 
faction, of refrigeration, and therefore of precipitation. There 
will be formed in it a dense cloud extending far down towards 
the body of the Sun, and obstructing the greater part of the 
light radiating from below. Here we have an adequate cause for 
the formation of an opaque vaporous mass — a cause which also 
accounts for the frequently observed vortical motion ; for the 
greater blackness of the central part of the umbra ; for the 
formation of a penumbra by the drawing-in of the adjacent 
photosphere ; for the elongation of the luminous masses form- 
ing the photosphere, and the tui'ning of then* longer axes 
towards the centre of the spot ; and for the occasional drifting 
of thenL over the spot towards its centre. Still, there is the 
difficulty that vortical motion is by no means always observable ; 
and it remains to be considered whether its non-visibility in 
many cases is reconcilable with the hypothesis. At present none 
of the interpretations can be regarded as established. See, 

then, the rigour of the inquiry. Here are sundry suppositions 
which the man of science severally tests by observations and 
necessary inferences. In this, as in other cases, he rejects such 
as unquestionably disagree with unquestionable truths. Con- 
tinually excluding untenable hypotheses, he waits to decide 
among the more tenable ones until further evidence discloses 


further congruities or incongruities. Checking every statement 
of fact and every conclusion drawn, he keeps his judgment sus- 
pended until no anomaly remains unexplained. Not only is he 
thus careful to shut out all possible error from inadequacy in the 
number and variety of data, but he is careful to shut out all pos- 
sible error caused by idiosyncrasy in himself. Though not per- 
haps in astronomical observations such as those above implied, 
yet in all astronomical observations where the element of time is 
important, he makes allowance for the intervals occupied by his 
nervous actions. To fix the exact raoment at which a certain 
change occurred, his perception of it has to be corrected for the 
" personal equation." As the speed of the nervous discharge 
varies, according to the constitution, from thirty to ninety 
metres per second, and is somewhat greater in summer than in 
winter ; and as between seeing a change and registering it -with 
the finger, there is an interval which is thus appreciably different 
in different persons ; the particular amount of this error in the 
particular observer has to be taken into account. 

Suppose now that to a man of science, thus careful in testing 
all possible hypotheses and excluding all possible sources of 
error, we put a sociological question — say, whether some pro- 
posed institution will be beneficial. An answer, and often a very 
decided one, is forthcoming at once. It is not thought needful, 
proceeding by deliberate induction, to ascertain what has hap- 
pened in each nation where an identical institution, or an 
institution of allied kind, has been established. It is not 
thought needful to look back in our own history to see whether 
kindred agencies have done what they were expected to do. It 
is not thought needful to ask the more general question — how 
far institutions at large, among all nations and in all times, have 
justified the theories of those who set them up. Nor is it 
thought needful to infer from analogous cases, what is likely to 
happen if the proposed appliance is not set up — to ascertain, 
inductively, whether in its absence some equivalent appliance 
will arise. And still less is it thought needful to inquii-e what 


will be the inidrect actions and reactions of the proposed organi- 
zation — how far it will retard other social agencies, and how far 
it will prevent the spontaneous growth of agencies having like 
ends. I do not mean that none of these questions are recognized 
as questions to be asked ; but I mean that no attempts are made 
after a scientific manner to get together materials for answering 
them. True, some data have been gathered fi'om newspapers, 
periodicals, foreign correspondence, books of travel ; and there 
have been read sundry histories, which, besides copious accounts 
of royal misdemeanours, contain minute details of every military 
'Jimpaign, and careful disentanglings of diplomatic trickeries. 
And on information thus acquired a confident opinion is based. 
Most remarkable of all, however, is the fact that no allowance is 
made for the personal equation. In political observations and 
judgments, the qualities of the individual, natural and acquired, 
are by far the most important factors. The bias of education, 
the bias of class-relationships, the bias of nationality, the poli- 
tical bias, the theological bias — these, added to the constitutional 
sympathies and antipathies, have much more influence in deter- 
mining beliefs on social questions than has the small amount of 
evidence collected. Yet, though in his search after a physical 
truth, the man of science allows for minute errors of perception 
due to his own nature, he makes no allowance for the enormous 
errors which his own nature variously modified and distorted by 
his conditions of life, is sure to introduce into his perceptions of 
political tnith. Here, where correction for the personal equa- 
tion is all-essential, it does not occur to him that there is any 
personal equation to be allowed for. 

This immense incongruity between the attitude in which the 
most disciplined minds approach other orders of natural phe- 
nomena, and the attitude in which they approach the phenomena 
presented by societies, will be best illustrated by a series of 
antitheses thus : — 

The material media through which we see things, always more 


or less falsify the facts : making, for example, tke apparent direc- 
tion of a star slightly diifcrent from its real direction, and some- 
times, as when a fish is seen in the water, the apparent place is so 
far from the real place, that great misconception results unless large 
allowance is made for refraction ; hut sociological observations 
are not thus falsified : through the daily press light comes with- 
out any bending of its rays, and in studying past ages it is easy 
to make allowance for the refraction due to the historic 
medium. The motions of gases, though they conform to 

mechanical laws which are well understood, are nevertheless so 
involved, that the art of controlling currents of air in a house is 
not yet mastered ; but the waves and ciu-rents of feeling running 
through a society, and the consequent directions and amounts of 
social activities, may be readily known beforehand. Though 

molecules of inorganic substances are very simple, yet prolonged 
study is required to understand their modes of behaviour to one 
another, and even the most instructed frequently meet with 
interactions of them producing consequences they never antici- 
pated ; but where the interacting bodies are not molecules but 
living beings of highly-complex natures, it is easy to foresee all 
results which will arise. Physical phenomena are socon- 

nected that betwe en seeming probability __and . actual truth, 
there is apt to_be_a_wide.^iffei'ence, evenjwhere but two_bodie^ 
are acting : instance the natural supposition that dui-ing oui' 
northern summer the Earth is nearer to the- Sun than during the 
winter, which is just the reverse of the fact ; . but among 
sociological phenomena, where the bodies are so multitudinous, 
and the forces by which they act on one another so many, and so 
multiform, and so variable, the probability and the actuality will 
of course correspond. Matter often behaves paradoxically, 

as when two cold liquids added together become boiling hot, or 
as when the mixing of two clear liquids produces an opaque 
mud, or as when water immersed in sulphurous acid freezes on 
. a hot iron plate ; but what we distinguish as Mind, especially 
when massed together in the way which causes social action, 


evolves no paradoxical I'esults — always such results come from it 
as seem likely to come. 

The acceptance of contradictions like these, tacitly implied in 
the beliefs of the scientifically cultivated, is the more remarkable 
when Ave consider how abundant are the proofs that human nature 
is difficult to manipulate ; that methods apparently the most 
rational disappoint expectation ; and that the best results fre- 
quently arise from courses which common sense thinks un- 
practical. Even individual human nature shows us these start- 
ling anomalies. A man of leisure is the man naturally fixed 
upon if something has to be done ; but your man of leisure can- 
not find time, and the man most likely to do what is wanted, is 
the man who is already busy. That the boy who studies longest 
will learn most, and that a man wall become wise in pi-oportion 
as he reads much, are propositions' which look true but are 
quite untrue ; as teachers are now-a-days finding out in the one 
case, and as Hobbes long ago found out in the other. How 
obvious it appears that when minds go deranged, there is no 
remedy but replacing the weak internal control by a strong 
external control. Yet the " non-restraint system " has had far 
more success than the system of strait- waistcoats. Dr. Batty 
Tuke, a physician of much experience in treating the insane, 
has lately testified that the desire to escape is great when 
locks and keys are used, but almost disappears when they 
are disused : the policy of unlocked doors has had 95 per cent, 
of success and 5 per cent, of failure.^ And in further 
evidence of the mischief often done by measures supposed 
to be curative, here is Dr. Maudsley, also an authority on 
such questions, speaking of- " asylum-made lunatics." Again, is 
it not clear that the repression of crime will be effectual in pro- 
portion as the punishment is severe ? Tet the great ameliora- 
tion in our penal code, initiated by E-omilly, has not been fol- 
lowed by increased criminality but by decreased criminality ; 
and the testimonies of those who have had most experience — 
Maconochie in Norfolk Island, Dickson in Western Australia, 


Obemiier in Grermany, Montesinos in Spain — unite to sliow that 
in proportion as the criminal is loft to suifer no other penalty 
than that of maintaining himself under such restraints only as are 
needful for social safety, the reformation is great : exceeding, 
indeed, all anticipation. French schoolmasters, never question- 
ing the belief that boys can be made to behave well only by rigid 
discipline and spies to aid in carrying it out, are astonished on 
visiting England to find how much better boys behave when they 
are less governed : nay more — among English hoys themselves, 
Dr. Arnold has shown that more trust is followed by improved 
conduct. Similarly with the anomalies of incoi'porated human 
nature. We habitually assume that only by legal restraints are 
men to be kept from aggressing on their neighbours ; and yet 
there are facts which should lead us to qualify our assumption. 
So-called debts of honour, for the non-payment of which there 
is no legal penalty, are held more sacred than debts that can be 
legally enforced ; and on the Stock-Exchange, where only pencil 
memoranda in the respective note-books of two brokers guarantee 
the sale and pui'chase of many thousands, contracts are safer 
than those which, in the outside world, are formally registered in 
signed and sealed parchments. 

Multitudes of cases might be accumulated showing how, in 
other directions, men's thoughts and feelings produce kinds of 
conduct which, ct, priori, would be judged very improhable. And 
if, going beyond our own society and onj- own time, we observe 
what has happened among other races, and among the earlier 
generations of our own race, we meet, at every step, workings- 
out of human nature utterly unlike those which we assume when 
making political forecasts. "Who, generalizing the experiences of 
his daily life, would suppose that men, to please their gods, 
would swing for hours from hooks drawn through the muscles of 
their backs, or let their nails grow through the palms of their 
clenched hands, or roll over and ov6r hundreds of miles to 
visit a shrine ? Who would have thought it possible that a 
public sentiment and a pi-ivate feeling might be as in China, 


wliere a criminal can buy a substitute to be executed in his 
stead : the substitute's family having the m.oney ? Or, to take 
historical cases more nearly concerning ourselves — Who foresaw 
that the beliefs in purgatory and priestly intercession would 
cause one-half of England to lapse into the hands of the Church ? 
or who foresaw that a defect in the law of mortmain would lead to 
bequests of large estates consecrated as graveyards ? Who could 
have imagined that robber-kings and bandit-barons, with vassals 
to match, would, generation after generation, have traversed all 
Europe through hardships and dangers to risk their lives in getting 
possession of the reputed burial place of one whose injunction 
was to turn the left cheek when the right was smitten ? Or who, 
again, would have anticipated that when, in Jerusalem, this same 
teacher disclaimed political aims, and repudiated political instru- 
mentalities, the professed successors of his disciples would by 
and by become rulers dominating over all the kings of Europe ? 
Such a result could be as little foreseen as it could be foreseen 
that an instrument of torture used by the Pagans would give the 
ground-plans to Christian temples throughout Europe ; and as 
little as it could be foreseen that the process of this torture, re- 
counted in Christian narratives, might come to be mistaken for 
a Christian institution, as it was by the Malay chief who, being 
expostulated with for crucifying some rebels, replied that he was 
following " the English practice," which he read in " their sacred 
books." ' 

Look where we will at the genesis of social phenomena, we 
shall similarly find that while the particular ends contemplated 
and arranged for have commonly not been more than temporarily 
attained if attained at all, the changes actually brought about 
have arisen from causes of which the very existence was xinknown. 

How, indeed, can any man, and how more especially can any 
man of scientific culture, think that special results of special 
political acts can be calculated, when he contemplates the incal- 
culable complexity of the influences under which each individual, 


and ct fortiori each society, develops, lives, and decays ? The 
multiplicity of the factors is illustrated even in the material 
composition of a man's body. Every one who watches closely the 
course of things, must have observed that at a single meal he 
may take in bread made from Russian wheat, beef from Scot- 
land, potatoes from the midland counties, sugar from the 
Mauritius, salt from Cheshire, pepper from Jamaica, curry- 
powder from India, wine from France or Germany, cui'rants from 
Greece, oranges from Spain, as well as various spices and condi- 
ments from other places ; and if he considers whence came the 
draught of water he swallows, tracing it back from the reservoir 
through the stream and the brook and the rill, to the separate 
rain-drops which fell wide apart, and these again to the eddying 
vapours which had been mingling and parting in endless ways as 
they drifted over the Atlantic, he sees that this single mouthful 
of water contains molecules which, a little time ago, were dis- 
persed over hundreds of square miles of ocean swell. Similarly 
tracintr back the history of each solid he has eaten, he finds that 
his body is made up of elements which have lately come from 
all parts of the Earth's suj.'face. 

And what thus holds of the substance of the body, holds no 
less of the influences, physical and moral, which modify its 
actions. You break your tooth with a small pebble among the 
currants, because the industrial organization in Zante is so im- 
perfect. A derangement of your digestion goes back for its 
cause to the bungling management in a vineyard on the Rhine 
several years ago ; or to the dishonesty of the merchants at 
Cette, where imitation wines are produced. Because there 
happened a squabble between a consul and a king in Abyssinia, 
an increased income-tax obliges you to abridge your autumn 
holiday ; or because slave-owners in J^Torth Araerica try to ex- 
tend the " peculiar institution " further west, there results here 
a party dissension which perhaps entails on you loss of fi'iends. 
If from these remote causes you turn to causes at home, you 
find that youi' doings are controlled by a, jile.vus of influences too 


involved to be traced beyond its first mesbes. Tour bonrs of 
business are pre-determined by the general habits of the coni- 
mnnity, which have been slowly established no one knows how. 
Your meals have to be taken at intervals which do not suit your 
health ; but under existing social arrangements you must sub- 
mit. Such intercourse with fi*iends as you can get, is at hours 
and under regulations which everybody adopts, but for which 
nobody is responsible ; and you have to yield to a ceremonial 
which substitutes trouble for pleasure. Tour opinions, political 
and religious, are ready moulded for you ; and unless your 
individuality is very decided, your social surroundings will prove 
too strong for it. Nay, even such an insignificant event as the 
coming-of-age of grouse affects your goings and comings through- 
out life. For has not the dissolution of Parliament direct refe- 
rence to the 12th of August ? and does not the dissolution end 
the London season ? and does not the London season determine 
the times for business and relaxation, and so affect the making 
of arrangements thi-oughout the year ? If from co-existing 
influences we turn to influences that have been working through 
past time, the same general truth becomes still more conspicuous. 
Ask how it happens that men in England do not work every 
seventh day, and you have to seek through thousands of past 
years to find the initial cause. Ask why in England, and stil] 
more in Scotland, there is not ordy a cessation from work, which 
the creed interdicts, but also a cessation from amusement, which 
it does not interdict ; and for an explanation you must go back 
to successive waves of ascetic fanaticism in generations long 
dead. And what thus holds of religious ideas and usages, holds 
of all others, political and social. Even the industrial activities 
are often permanently turned out of their normal directions by 
social states that passed away many ages ago : witness what has 
happened throughout the East, or in Italy, where towns and 
villages are still perched on hills and eminences chosen for- 
defensive purposes in turbulent times, and where the lives of the 
inhabitants are now made laborious by having daily to carry 



themselves and all the necessaries of life from a low level to a 
high level. 

The extreme complexity of social actions, and the transcendent 
difficulty which hence arises of counting on special results, will 
be still better seen if we enumerate the factors which determine 
one simple phenomenon, as the price of a commodity, — say, 
cotton. A manufacturer of calicoes has to decide whether he 
will increase his stock of raw material at its current price. 
Before doing this, he must ascertain, as well as he can, the 
following data : — Whether the stocks of calico in the hands of 
manufacturers and wholesalers at home, are large or small ; 
whether by recent prices retailers have been led to lay in stocks 
or not ; whether the colonial and foreign markets are glutted or 
otherwise ; and what is now, and is likely to be, the production 
of calico by foreign manufacturers. Having formed some idea 
of the probable demand for calico, he has to ask what other 
manufacturers have done, and are doing, as buyers of cotton — 
whether they have been waiting for the pi-ice to fall, or have 
been buying in anticipation of a rise. From cotton-brokers' 
cu'culars he has to judge what is the state of speculation at 
Liverpool — whether the stocks there are large or small, and 
whether many or few cargoes are on their way. The stocks 
and prices at New Orleans, and at other cotton-ports through- 
out the world, have also to be taken note of ; and then there 
come questions respecting forthcoming crops in the Southern 
States, in India, in Egypt, and elsewhere. Here are sufficiently- 
numerous factors, but these are by no means all. The consumption 
of calico, and therefore the consumption of cotton, and therefore 
the price of cotton, depends in part on the supplies and prices of 
other textile fabrics. If, as happened during the American Civil 
War, calico rises in price because its raw material becomes scarce, 
linen comes into more general use, and so a further rise in price 
is checked. Woollen fabrics, also, may to some extent compete. 
And, besides the competition caused by relative prices, there is 
the competition caused by fashion, which may or may not pre- 


sently cTiange. Surely the factors are now all emimerated ? 
By no means. There is the estimation of mercantile opinion. 
The views of buyers and sellers respecting future prices, never 
more than approximations to the truth, often diverge from it 
very widely. Waves of opinion, now in excess now in defect of 
the fact, rise and fall daily, and larger ones weekly and monthly, 
tending, every now and then, to run into mania or panic ; for it 
is among men of business as among other men, that they stand 
hesitating until some one sets the example, and then rush all 
one way, like a flock of sheep after a leader. These character- 
istics in human nature, leading to these perturbations, the far- 
seeing buyer takes into account — judging how far existing in- 
fluences have made opinion deviate from the truth, and how far 
impending influences are likely to do it. Nor has he got to the 
end of the matter even when he has considered all these thino-s. 


He has still to ask what are the general mercantile conditions of 
the country, and what the immediate future of the money market 
will be ; since the course of speculation in every commodity must 
be affected by the rate of discount. See, then, the enormous 
complication of causes which determine so simple a thing as the 
rise or fall of a farthing per pound in cotton some months 
hence ! 

If the genesis of social phenomena is so involved in cases like 
this, where the effect produced has no concrete persistence but 
very soon dissipates, judge what it must be where there is pro- 
duced something which continues thereafter to be an increasino- 
agency, capable of self-propagation. Not only has a society as a 
whole a power of growth and development, but each institution 
set up in it has the like — draws to itself units of the society and 
nutriment for them, and tends ever to multiply and ramify. 
Indeed, the instinct of self-preservation in each institution soon 
becomes dominant over everything else ; and maintains it when 
it performs some quite other function than that intended, or 
no function at all. See, for instance, what has come of the 
"Society of Jesus," Loyola set up; or see what grew out of 



the company of traders who got a footing on the coast of 

To such considerations as these, set down to show the incon- 
sistency of those who think that prevision of social phenomena 
is possible without much study, though much study is needed 
for prevision of other phenomena, it will doubtless be replied 
that time does not allow of systematic inquiry. From the 
scientific, as from the unscientific, there will come the plea 
that, in his capacity of citizen, each man has to act — must vote, 
and must decide before he votes — must conclude to the best of 
his ability on such information as he has. 

In this plea there is some truth, mingled with a good deal 
more that looks like trath. It is a product of that " must-do- 
something " impulse which is the origin of much mischief, in- 
dividual and social. An amiable anxiety to undo or neutralize 
an evil, often prompts to rash courses, as you may see in the 
hurry with which one who has fallen is snatched up by those at 
hand ; just as though there were danger in letting him lie, 
which there is not, and no danger in incautiously raising him, 
which there is. Always you find among people in proportion as 
they are ignorant, a belief in specifics, and a great confidence in 
pressing the adoption of them. Has some one a pain in the 
side, or in the chest, or in the bowels ? Then, before any 
careful inquiry as to its probable cause, there comes an urgent 
recommendation of a never- failing remedy, joined probably with 
the remark that if it does no good it can do no harm. There 
still prevails in the average mind a large amount of the f etishistic 
conception clearly shown by a butler to some friends of mine, 
who, having been found to di'ain the half-emptied naedicine- 
bottles, explained that he thought it a pity good physic should 
be wasted, and that what benefited his master would benefit 
him. But as fast as crude conceptions of diseases and remedial 
measures grow up into Pathology and Therapeutics, Ave find 
increasing caution, along with increasing proof that evil is often 


done instead of good. This contrast is traceable not only as we 
Ijass from popular ignorance to professional knowledge, but as 
we pass fr'oni the smaller professional knowledge of early times 
to the greater professional knowledge of our own. The question 
with the modern physician is not as with the ancient — shall the 
treatment be blood-letting ? shall cathartics, or shall diaphoretics 
be given ? or shall mercurials be administered ? But there 
rises the previous question — shall there be any treatment beyond 
a wholesome regimen ? And even among existing physicians it 
happens that in proportion as the judgment is most cultivated, 
there is the least yielding to the " must-do-something " 

Is it not possible, then — is it not even probable, that this 
supposed necessity for immediate action, which is put in as an 
excuse for drawing quick conclusions from few data, is the con- 
comitant of deficient knowledge ? Is it not probable that as in 
Biology so in Sociology, the accumulation of more facts, the 
more critical comparison of them, and the drawing of conclusions 
on scientific methods, will be accompanied by increasing doubt 
about the benefits to be secured, and increasing fear of the 
mischiefs which may be worked ? Is it not probable that what 
in the individual organism is improperly, though conveniently, 
called the vis medicatrix naturce, may be found to have its 
analogue in the social orgarusm ? and will there not very likely 
come along with the recognition of this, the consciousness that 
in both cases the one thing needful is to maintain the condi- 
tions under which the natui'al actions have fair play ? Such a 
consciousness, to be anticipated from increased knowledge, will 
diminish the force of this plea for prompt decision after little 
inquiry ; since it will check tliis tendency to think of a remedial 
measui'e as one that may do good and cannot do harm. N^ay 
more, the study of Sociology, scientifically carried on by tracing 
back proximate causes to remote ones, and tracing down pri- 
mary effects to secondary and tertiary effects which multiply as 
they diffuse, will dissipate the current illusion that social evils 


admit of radical cures. Given an average defect of nature 
among the units of a society, and no skilful manipidation of 
them A\-ill prevent that defect from producing its equivalent of 
btd results. It is possible to change the form of these bad 
results ; it is possible to change the places at which they are 
manifested ; but it is not possible to get rid of them. The 
belief that faulty character can so organize itself socially, as to 
get out of itself a conduct which is not proportionately faulty, 
is an utterly-baseless belief. You may alter the incidence of the 
mischief, but the amount of it must inevitably be borne some- 
where. Very generally it is simply thrust out of one form into 
another ; as when, in Austria, improvident "marriages being pre- 
vented, there come more numerous illegitimate children ; or as 
when, to mitigate the misery of foundlings, hospitals are provided 
for them, and there is an increase in the number of infants 
abandoned ; or as when, to insure the stabiHty of houses, a 
Building Act prescribes a structure which, making small houses 
unremunerative, prevents due multiplication of them, and so 
causes overcrowding ; or as when a Lodging-House Act forbids 
this overcrowding, and vagrants have to sleep under the Adelphi- 
arches, or in the Parks, or even, for wai'mth's sake, on the dung- 
heaps in mews. Where the evil does not, as in cases like these, 
reappear in another place or form, it is necessarily felt in the 
shape of a diffused privation. For suppose that by some official 
instrumentaHty you actually suppress an evil, instead of thrusting 
it from one spot into another — suppose you thus successfully 
deal with a number of such evils by a number of such instra- 
mentalities ; do you think these evils have disappeared absolutely ? 
To see that they have not, you have but to ask — Whence comes 
the official apparatus ? What defrays the cost of working it ? 
WTio supplies the necessaries of life to its members throtigh all 
their gradations of rank ? There is no other soui'ce but the 
labour of peasants and artizans. When, as in France, the ad- 
ministrative agencies occupy some 600,000 men, who are taken 
from industrial pursuits, and, with their families, supj)orted in 


more than average comfort, it becomes clear enougli that heavy 
extra work is entailed on the producing classes. The ah^eady- 
tired labourer has to toil an additional hoiu* ; his wife has to 
help in the fields as well as to suckle her infant ; his children 
are still more scantily fed than they would otherwise be ; and 
beyond a decreased share of returns from increased labour, there 
is a diminished time and energy for such small enjoyments as 
the life, pitiable at the best, permits. How, then, can it be 
supposed that the evils have been extinguished or escaped ? 
The repressive action has had its corresponding reaction ; and 
instead of intenser miseries here and there, or now and then, you 
have got a misery that is constant and universal. 

When it is thus seen that the evils are not removed, but at 
best only re-distributed, and that the question in any case is 
whether re- distribution, even if practicable, is desirable ; it will 
be seen that the " must-do-something " plea is quite insufficient. 
There is ample reason to believe that in proportion as scientific 
men carry into this most-involved class of phenomena, the 
methods they have successfully adopted with other classes, they 
will perceive that, even less in this class than in other classes, 
are conclusions to be drawn and action to be taken without pro- 
longed and critical investigation. 

Still there will recur the same plea under other forms 
" Political conduct must be matter of compromise." " We must 
adapt our measures to immediate exigencies, and cannot be 
deterred by remote considerations." " The data for forming 
scientific judgments are not to be had : most of thera are un- 
i^ecorded, and those which are recorded are difl&cult to find as 
well as doubtful when found." " Life is too short, and the 
demands upon our energies too great, to permit any such elabo- 
rate study as seems required. We must, therefore, guide our- 
selves by common sense as best we may." 

And then, behind the more scientifically-minded who give this 
answer, there are those who hold, tacitly or overtly, that guid- 


ance of tbe kind indicated is not possible, even after any amount 
of inquiry. They do not believe in any ascertainable order 
among social phenomena — there is no such thing as a social 
science. This proposition we will discuss in the next chapter. 



Almost every autumn may be heard the rem.ark tliat a hard 
winter is com.iiig, for that the hips and haws are abundant : the 
implied belief being that Grod, intending to send much frost and 
snow, has provided a large store of food for the bii'ds. Interpre- 
tations of this kind, tacit or avowed, prevail widely. Not many 
weeks since, one who had received the usual amount of culture 
said in my hearing, that the swarm of lady-birds which over- 
spread the country some summers ago, had been providentially 
designed to save the crop of hops from the destroying aphides. 
Of course this theory of the divine government, here applied to 
occurrences bearing but indirectly, if at all, on human weKare, is 
applied with still gi'eater confidence to occurrences that directly 
affect us, individually and socially. It is a theory carried out 
with logical consistency by the Methodist who, before going on 
a, journey or removing to another house, opens his Bible, and in 
the first passage his eye rests upon, finds an intimation of 
approval or disapproval from heaven. And in its political ap- 
plications it yields such appropriate beliefs as that the welfare of 
England in comparison with Continental States, has been a 
reward for better observance of the Sunday, or that an invasion 
of cholera was consequent on the omission of Dei gratia frora an 
issue of coins. 

The interpretation of historical events in general after this 
same method, accompanies such interpretations 6i ordinary pass- 


ing events; and, indeed, outlives them. Those to whom the 
natural genesis of simpler phenomena has been made numifest by 
increasing knowledge, still believe in the supernatural genesis of 
/ihenomena that are very much involved, and cannot have their 
causes readily traced. The form of mind which, in an official 
despatch, prompts the statement that " it has pleased Almighty 
Grod to vouchsafe to the British arms the most successful issue 
to the extensive combinations rendered necessary for the pur- 
pose of effecting the passage of the Chenaub," ^ is a form of 
mind which, in the records of the past, eveiywhere sees inter- 
positions of the Deity to bring about results that appear to the 
interpreter the most desirable. Thus, for example, !Mr. Schom- 
berg writes : — 

" It seemed good to the All-beneficent Disposer of hmiian events, to 
overrule every obstacle ; and through His instrument, William of Nor- 
mandy, to expurgate the evils of the land ; and to resuscitate its dying 
powers." 2 

And elsewhere : — 

" The time had now arrived when the Almighty Governor, after having 
severely jjunished the whole nation, was intending to raise its droojiing 
head — to give a more rapid impulse to its prosperity, and to cause it to 
stand forth more prommently as an Exemplar State. For this end, 
He raised up an individual eminently fitted for the intended work " 
[Henry VII.].^ 

And again : — 

" As if to mark this epoch of history with greater distinctness, it 
was closed by the death of George III., the Great and the Good, 
who had been raised up as the grand instrument of its accomplish- 
ment." * 

The late catastrophes on the Continent are similarly explained 
by a French writer who, like the English writer just quoted, 
professes to have looked behind the veil of things ; and who 
tells us what have been the intentions of Grod in chastising his 
chosen people, the French. For it is to be observed in passing 
that, just as the evangelicals among ourselves think we are 


divinely blessed because we liave preserved the piuntj of the 
faith, so it is obvious to the author of La Main de VSomme et le 
Doigt de Dieu, as to other Frenchmen, that France is hereafter still 
to be, as it has hitherto been, the leader of the world. This 
writer, in. chapters entitled " Causes providentielles de nos 
malheurs," " Les Prussiens et les fleaus de Dieu," and " Justifi- 
cation de la Providence," carries out his interpretations in wajs 
we need not here follow, and then closes his " Epilogue " with 
these sentences : — 

" La Eevolution moderee, habUe, sagace, machiavehque, diaboliquement 
sage, a ete vaincue et confondue par la justice divine dans la persoime et 
dans le gouvemement de Napoleon III. 

" La Revolution exaltee, bouillonnante, etourdie, a ete vaincue et con- 
fondue par la justice divine dans les personnes et dans les gouvemements 
successifs de Ganibetta et de Felix Pyat et conipagnie. 

" La sagesse humaine, applaudie et triomphante, personni&ee dans 
M. Thiers, ne tardera pas a ^tre vaincue et confondue par cette 
nieme Revolution deux fois humiliee, mais toujours renaissante et 

" Ce n'est pas une prophetic : c'est la prevision de la philosoj^hie et de 
la foi chretiennes. 

" Alors ce sera vraiment le tour du Tres-Haut ; car il faut que Dieu et 
son Fils regnent par son Evangile et par son Eglise. 

" Ames frangaises et chretiennes, priez, travaillez, souffrez et ayez con- 
fiance ! nous sommes pres de la fin. C'est quand tout semblera perdu que 
tout sera vraiment sauve. 

" Si la France avait su profiter des desastres subis, Dieu lui eut rendu 
ses premieres faveurs. Elle s'obstine dans I'erreur et le vice. Croyons quf 
Dieu la sauvera malgre elle, en la regenerant toutefois par I'eau et pai 
feu. C'est quand I'impuissance humaine apparait qu'eclate la sagess^.' 
divine. Mais quelles tribulations ! queHes angoisses ! Heureux ceux qui 
survivront et jouiront du triomphe de Dieu et de son Eglise sainte, catho- 
lique, apostolique et romaine." ^ 

Conceptions of this kind are not limited to historians whose 
names have dropped out of remembrance, and to men who, while 
the drama of contemporary revolution is going on, play the part 
of a Greek chorus, telling the world of spectators what has been 


the divine purpose and what are the divine intentions ; but we 
have lately had a Professor of History setting forth conceptions 
essentially identical in nature. Here are his words : — 

" And now, gentlemen, was this vast campaign [of Teutons against 
Eomans] fought without a general ? If Trafalgar could not be won 
without the mind of a Nelson, or Waterloo without the mind of a 
Welhugton, was there no one mind to lead those innumerable armies on 
whose success depended the future of the whole hiunan race ? Did no 
one marshal them in that impregnable convex front, from the Euxine to 
the North Sea? No one guide them to the two great strategic centres of 
the Black Forest and Trieste ? No one cause them, blind barbarians 
without maps or science, to follow those ndes of war mthout which \-ic- 
tory hi a protracted struggle is impossible ; and by the pressure of the 
Huns behind, force on their iiagging myriads to an enterprise which their 
simplicity fancied at first beyond the powers of mortal men ? BeHeve it 
who will : but I cannot. I may be told that they gravitated into their 
places, as stones and mud do. Be it so. They obeyed natural laws of 
course, as all things do on earth, when they obeyed the laws of war : 
those, too, are natiu-al laws, exphcable on simple mathematical prin- 
ciples. But while I believe that not a stone or a handful of mud gravi- 
tates into its place without the Avill of God ; that it was ordained, ages 
since, into what paxticidar spot each grain of gold should be washed down 
from an Australian quartz reef, that a certain man might find it at a 
certain moment and crisis of his life ; — if I be sui^erstitioxis enough (as, 
thank God, I am) to hold that creed, shall I not believe that, though this 
great war had no general upon earth, it may have had a general in lieaven ? 
and that, in spite of all their sius, the hosts of our forefathers were the 
hosts of God." ^ 

It does not concern us here to seek a reconciliation of 
the incongruous ideas bracketed together in this paragraph — 
to ask how the results of gravitation, which acts with such 
uniformity that under given conditions its effect is calculable 
with certainty, can at the same time be regarded as the 
results of will, which we class apart because, as known by our 
experience, it is comparatively irregular ; or to ask how, if the 
course of human affairs is divinely prc-determincd just as 
material changes are, any distinction is to be di'awn between that 


prevision of material clianges wliicli constitutes physical science 
and hiistorical prevision : the reader may be left to evolve the 
obvious conclusion that either the current idea of physical causa- 
tion has to be abandoned, or the current idea of will has to be 
at)andoned. All which I need call attention to as indicating the 
general character of such interpretations, is the remarkable title 
of the chapter containing this passage — " The Strategy of 

In common with some others, I have often wondered how the 
Universe looks to those who use such names for its Cause as " The 
Master Builder," or " The Great Artificer ; " and who seem to 
think that the Cause of the Universe is made more marvellous by 
comparing its operations to those of a skilled mechanic. But 
really the expression, " Strategy of Providence," reveals a con- 
ception of this Cause which is in some respects more puzzling. 
Such a title as " The Great Artificer," while suggesting simply 
the process of shaping a pre-existing material, and leaving tb 
question whence this material came untouched, may at any rate 
be said not to negative the assumption that the material is created 
by " The Great Artificer" who shapes it. The phrase, " Strategy of 
Providence," however, necessarily implies diflSculties to be over- 
come. The Divine Strategist must have a skilful antagonist to 
make strategy possible. So that we are inevitably introduced 
to the conception of a Cause of the Universe continually impeded 
by some independent cause which has to be out-generalled. It 
is not every one who would thank God for a belief, the implica- 
tion of which is that God is obliged to overcome opposition by 
subtle devices. 

The disguises which piety puts on are, indeed, not unf requently 
suggestive of that which some would describe by a quite opposite 
name. To study the Universe as it is manifested to us ; to ascer- 
tain by patient observation the order of the manifestations ; to 
discover that the manifestations are connected with one another 
after a regular way in Time and Space ; and, after repeated 
failures, to give up as futile the attempt to understand the Power 


manifested ; is condemned as irreligious. And meairvvhile the 
character of religions is claimed by those who figure to themselves 
a Creator moved by motives like their own ; who conceive them- 
selves as discovering his designs ; and who even speak of him as 
though he laid plans to outwit the Devil ! 

This, however, by the way. The foregoing extracts and com- 
ments are intended to indicate the mental attitude of those for 
whom there can be no such thing as Sociology, properly so 
called. That mode of conceiving human affairs which is implied 
alike by the " D.Y." of a missionary-meeting placard and by the 
phrases of Emperor William's late despatches, where thanks to 
Grod come next to enumerations of the thousands slain, is one to 
which the idea of a Social Science is entirely alien, and indeed 

An allied class, equally unprepared to interpret sociological 
phenomena scientifically, is the class which sees in the course of 
civilization little else than a record of remarkable persons and 
their doings. One who is conspicuous as the exponent of this 
view wi'ites : — " As I take it, universal history, the history of 
what man has accomplished in this world, is at bottom the history 
of the great men who have worked here." And this, not perhaps 
distinctly formulated, but everywhere implied, is the belief in 
which nearly all are brought up. Let us glance at the genesis 
of it. 

Round their camp-fire assembled savages tell the events of the 
day's chase ; and he among them who has done some feat of 
skill or agility is duly lauded. On a return from the war-path, 
the sagacity of the chief and the strength or courage of this or 
that warrior, are the all-absorbing themes. When the day, or the 
immediate past, affords no remarkable deed, the topic is the 
achievement of some noted leader lately dead, or some tra- 
ditional founder of the tribe : accompanied, it may be, with a 
dance dramatically representing those victories which the chant 
recites. Such narratives, concerning, as they do, the prosperity 


and indeed the very existence of tlie tribe, are of tlae intensest 
interest ; and in tliem we have the common root of music, of the 
drama, of poetry, of biography, of history, and of literature in 
general. Savage life furnishes little else worthy of note ; and 
the chronicles of tribes contain scarcely anything more to be 
remembered. Early historic races show ns the same thing. 

The Egyptian frescoes and the wall- sculptures of the Assyrians, 
represent the deeds of leading men ; and inscriptions such as 
that on the Moabite stone, tell of nothing more than royal 
achievements : only by implication do these records, pictorial, 
hieroglyphic, or written, convey anything else. And similarly 
from the Greek epics, though we gather incidentally that there 
were towns, and war- vessels, and war-chariots, and sailors, and 
soldiers to be led and slaia, yet the direct intention is to set forth 
the triumphs of Achilles, the prowess of Ajax, the wisdom of 
Ulysses, and the like. The lessons given to every civilized 

child tacitly imply, like the traditions of the uncivilized and 
semi-civilized, that throughout the past of the human race, the 
doings of conspicuous persons have been the only things worthy 
of remembrance. How Abraham girded up his loins and gat 
him to this place or that ; how Samuel conveyed divine injunc- 
tions which Saul disobeyed ; how David recounted his adven- 
tures as a shepherd, and was reproached for his misdeeds as a 
king — these, and personalities akin to these, are the facts about 
which the juvenile reader of the Bible is interested and respecting 
which he is catechized : such indications of Jewish institutions as 
have unavoidably got into the narrative, being regarded neither by 
him nor by his teacher as of moment. So too, when, with hands 
.behind him, he stands to say his lesson out of Pinnock, we see 
that the things set down for him to learn, are — when and by 
whom England was invaded, what rulers opposed the invasions 
and how they were killed, what Alfred did and what Canute 
said, who fought at Agincourt and who conquered at Flodden, 
which king abdicated and which usurped, &c. ; and if by some 
cliance it comes out that there were serfs in those days, that 


barons were local rulers, some vassals of others, that suhordina- 
tion of them to a central power took place gradually, these are 
facts treated as relatively tmimportant. Nay, the like 

happens when the boy passes into the hands of his classical 
master, at home or elsewhere. " Arms and the man " form the 
end of the story as they form its beginning. After the mythology, 
which of course is all-essential, come the achievements of rulers 
and soldiers from Agamemnon down to Caesar : what knowledge 
is gained of social organization, manners, ideas, morals, being 
little more than the biographical statements involve. And the 
value of the knowledge is so ranked that while it would be a 
disgrace to be wrong about the amours of Zeus, and while 
inability to name the commander at Marathon would be dis- 
creditable, it is excusable to know nothing of the social condi- 
tion that preceded Lycurgus or of the origin and functions of 
the Areopagus. 

Thus the great-man-theory of History finds CA^erywhere a 
ready-prepared conception — is, indeed, but the definite expres- 
sion of that which is latent in the thoughts of the savage, tacitly 
asserted in all early traditions, and taught to every child by 
multitudinous illustrations. The glad acceptance it meets with 
has sundry more special causes. There is, first, this uni- 

versal love of personalities, which, active in the aboriginal man, 
dominates still — a love seen in the urchin who asks you to tell 
him a story, meaning, thereby, somebody's adventui-es ; a love 
gratified in adults by police-reports, court-news, divorce-cases, 
accounts of accidents, and lists of births, marriages, and deaths ; 
a love displayed even by conversations in the streets, where 
fragments of dialogue, heard in passing, show that mostly 
between men, and always between women, the personal pro- 
nouns recur every instant. If you want roughly to estimate any 
one's mental calibre, you cannot do it better than by observing 
the ratio of generalities to personalities in his talk — how far 
simple truths about individuals are replaced by truths abstracted 
from numerous experiences of men and things. And when you 


have thus measured many, you find but a scattered few likely 
to take anything more than a biographical view of human 
affaii's. In the second place, this gi'eat-man-theory com- 

m^ends itself as promising instruction along with amusement. 
Being already fond of hearing about people's sayings and doings, 
it is pleasant news that, to understand the course of civilization, 
you have only to read diligently the lives of distinguished men. 
What can be a more acceptable doctrine than that while you 
are satisfying an instinct not very remotely allied to that of the 
village gossip — while you are receiving thi'ough print instead of 
oi-ally, remarkable facts concerning notable persons, you are 
gaining that knowledge which will make clear to you why things 
have happened thus or thus in the world, and will prepare you 
for forming a right opinion on each question coming before yoi? 
as a citizen. And then, in the third place, the interpreta- 

tion of things thus given is so beautifully simple — seems so easy 
to comprehend. Providing you are content with conceptions 
that are out of focus, as most people's conceptions are, the solu- 
tions it yields appear quite satisfactory. Just as that theory of 
the Solar System which supposes the planets to have been 
launched into their orbits by the hand of the Almighty, looks 
feasible so long as you do not insist on knowing exactly what is 
meant by the hand of the Almighty ; and just as the special 
creation of plants and animals seems a tenable hypothesis until 
you try and picture to yourself definitely the process by which 
one of them is brought into existence ; so the genesis of societies 
by the actions of great men, may be comfortably believed so 
long as, resting in general notions, you do not ask for par- 

But now, if, dissatisfied with vagueness, we demand that our 
ideas shall be brought into focus and exactly defined, we discover 
the hypothesis to be utterly incoherent. If, not stopping at the 
explanation of social progress as due to the great man, we go 
back a step and ask whence comes the great man, we find that 
the theory breaks down completely. The question has two con- 


ccivable answers : Lis origin is supernatural, or it is natural. Is 
his origin supernatural ? Then he is a deputy-god, and we have 
Theocracy" once removed — or, rather, not removed at all ; for 
we must then agree with Mr. Schomberg, quoted above, that 
" the determination of Ceesar to invade Biitain " was divinely 
inspired, and that from him, down to " George III. the Great 
and the Good," the successive rulers were appointed to carry 
out 'Successive designs. Is this an unacceptable solution? 
Then the origin of the great man is natui'al ; and immediately 
this is recognized he must be classed with all other phenomena in 
the society that gave him birth, as a product of its antecedents. 
Along with the whole generation of which he forms a minute 
part — along with its institutions, language, knowledge, manners, 
and its multitudinous arts and appliances, he is a resultant of 
an enormous aggregate of farces that have been co-operating for 
ages. True, if you please to ignore all that common observa- 
tion, verified by physiology, teaches — if you assume that two 
European parents may produce a Negro child, or that from 
woolly-haired prognathous Papuans may come a fair, straight- 
haired infant of Caucasian type — you may. assume that the ad- 
vent of the great man can occur anywhere and under any con- 
ditions. If, disregarding those accumulated results of experience 
which current proverbs and the generalizations of psychologists 
alike express, you suppose that a Newton might be born in a 
Hottentot family, that a Milton might spring up among the 
Andamanese, that a Howard or a Clarkson might have Fiji 
parents, then you may proceed with facility to explain social 
progress as caused by the actions of the great man. But if all 
biological science, enforcing all popular belief, convinces you 
that by no possibility will an Aristotle come from a father and 
mother with facial angles of fifty degrees, and that out of a tribe 
of cannibals, whose chorus in preparation for a feast of human 
tlesh is a kind of rhythmical roaring, there is not the remotest 
chance of a Beethoven arising ; then you must admit that the 
genesis of the great man depends on the long series of complex 


influences -wliicli has produced tlie race in wiiicli lie appears, and 
the social state into wliicli that race has slowly grown. If it be 
a fact that the great man may modify his nation in its structure 
and actions, it is also a fact that there must have been those 
antecedent modifications constituting national progress before 
he could be evolved. Before he can re-make his society, his 
society must make him. So that all those changes of which he 
is the proximate initiator have their chief causes in the genera- 
tions he descended from. If there is to be anything like a real 
explanation of these changes, it must be sought in that aggre- 
gate of conditions out of which both he and they have arisen. 

Even were we to grant the absurd supposition that the genesis 
of the great man does not depend on the antecedents furnished 
by the society he is born in, there would still be the quite-suffi- 
cient facts that he is powerless in the absence of the material 
and mental accumulations which his society inherits from the 
past, and that he is powerless in the absence of the co-existing 
population, character, intelligence, and social arrangements. 
Given a Shakspeare, and what dramas could he have written 
without the multitudinous traditions of civilized life — without 
the various experiences which, descending to him from the past, 
gave wealth to his thought, and without the language which a 
hundred generations had developed and enriched by use ? Sup- 
pose a "Watt, with all his inventive power, living in a tribe 
ignorant of iron, or in a tribe that could get only as much iron as 
a fire blown by hand-bellows will smelt ; or suppose him born 
among ourselves before lathes existed ; what chance would there 
have been of the steam-engine ? Imagine a Laplace unaided by 
that slowly-developed system of Mathematics which we trace 
back to its beginnings among the Egyptians ; how far would he 
have got with the Mecanique Celeste ? Nay, the like questions 
may be put and have like answers, even if we limit ourselves to 
those classes of great men on whose doings hero-worshippers 
more particularly dwell — the rulers and generals. Xenophon 
could not have achieved his celebrated feat had his Ten Thou- 

D 2 


sand been feeble, or cowardly, or insubordinate. Caesar would 
never bave made his conquests without disciplined troops, in- 
heriting their prestige and tactics and organization from the 
Romans who lived before them. And, to take a recent instance, 
<5he strategical genius of Moltke would have triumphed in no great 
campaigns had there not been a nation of some forty millions to 
supply soldiers, and had not tbose soldiers been men of strong 
bodies, sturdy characters, obedient natures, and capable of carry- 
ing out orders intelligently. 

Were any one to marvel over the potency of a grain of deto- 
nating powder, which explodes a cannon, propels the shell, and 
sinks a vessel hit — rwere he to enlarge on the transcendent virtues 
of this detonating powder, not mentioning the ignited charge, 
the shell, the cannon, and all that enormous aggregate of appli- 
ances by which these have severally been produced, detonating 
powder included; we should not regard his interpretation as 
very rational. But it would fairly compare in rationality with 
this interpretation of social phenomena which, dwelling on the 
important changes the great man works, ignores that vast pre- 
existing supply of latent power he unlocks, and that immeasur- 
able accumulation of antecedents to which both he and this power 
are due. 

Recognizing what truth there is in the great-man-theory, we 
may say that, if limited to early societies, the histories of which 
are histories of little else than endeavours to destroy or subju- 
gate one another, it approximately expresses the fact in repre- 
senting the capable leader as all- important ; though even here 
it leaves out of sight too much the number and the quality of 
his followers. But its immense error lies in the assumption that 
what was once true is true for ever ; and that a relation of ruler 
and ruled which was possible and good at cne time is possible 
and good for all time. Just as fast as this predatory activity of 
early tribes diminishes, just as fast as larger aggregates arc 
formed by conqiiest or otherwise, just as fast as war ceases to 
be the business of the whole male popxilation, so fast do societies 


begin to develop, to show traces o£ structures and functions not 
before jiossible, to acquire increasing complexity along with in- 
creasing size, to give origin to new institutions, new activities, 
new ideas, sentiments, and habits : all of which unobtrusively 
make their appearance without the thought of any king or legis- 
lator. And if you wish to understand these phenomena of social 
evolution, you will not do it though you should read yourself 
blind over the biographies of all the great rulers on record, down 
to Frederick the Greedy and Napoleon the Treacherous. 

In addition to that passive denial of a Social Science im- 
I^lied by these two allied doctrines, one or other of which is 
held by nine men out of ten, there comes from some an active 
denial of it— either entire or partial. Reasons are given for the 
belief that no such thing is possible. The invalidity of these 
reasons can be shown only after the essential nature of Social 
Science, overlooked by those who give them, has been pointed 
out ; and to point this out here would be to forestal the argu- 
ment. Some minor criticisms may, however, fitly precede the 
major criticism. Let us consider first the positions taken up by 
l^Ir. Froude : — 

" Wlien natural caiises are liable to be set aside and neutralized by 
what is called volition, the word Science is out of place. If it is free to 
a man to choose what he will do or not do, there is no adequate science 
of him. If there is a science of him, there is no free tiioice, and the praise 
or blame with which we regai'd one another are impertinent and out of 
place." '' 

" It is in this marvellous power in men to do wrong . . . that the 
impossibUity stands of forming scientific calculations of what men will do 
before the fact, or scientific explanations of what they have done after the 
fact." « 

" Mr. Buckle would deliver himseK from the eccentricities of this and 
that uidividual by a doctrine of averages. . . . Unfortunately the 
average of one generation need not be the average of the next : . . . 
no two generations are alike." " 

" There [in history] the phenomena never repeat themselves. There 


we are dependent wholly on the record of things said to have happened 
once, but which never happen or can happen a second time. There no 
experiment is possible ; we can watch for no recuning fact to test the 
worth of onr conjectivres." ^^ 

Here Mr. Fronde changes the venue, and joins issue on the 
old battle-ground of free will versus necessity : declaring a Social 
Science to be incompatible with free will. The first extract 
implies, not simply that individual volition is incalculable — that 
" there is no adequate science of " man (no Science of Psycho- 
logy) ; but it also asserts, by implication, that th.ere are no 
causal relations among his states of mind : the volition by which 
" natural causes are liable to be set aside," being put in anti- 
thesis to natural, must be supernatural. Hence we are, in fact, 
carried back to that primitive form of interpretation contem- 
plated at the outset. A further comment is. tliat because 
volitions of some kinds cannot be foreseen, Mr. Froude argues 
as though no volitions can be foreseen : ignoring the fact that 
the simple volitions determining ordinary conduct, are so regular 
that prevision having a high degree of probability is easy. If, 
in crossing a street, a man sees a carriage coming upon him, you 
may safely assert tbat, in nine hundred and ninety-nine cases 
out of a thousand, be will try to get out of the way. If, being 
pressed to catch a train, he knows that by one route it is a mile 
to the station and by another two miles, you may conclude with 
considerable confidence that he will take the one-mile route ; 
and should he be aware that losing the train will lose him a 
fortune, it is pretty certain that, if he has but ten minutes to do 
the mile in, he will either run or call a cab. If he can buy next 
door a commodity of daily consumption better and cheaper than 
at the other end of the towoi, we may affirm that, if he docs not 
buy next door, some special relation between him and the 
remoter shop-keeper furnishes a strong reason for taking a worse 
commodity at greater cost of money and trouble. And though, 
if he has an estate to dispose of, it is within the limits of possi- 
bility that he will sell it to A for £1,000, though B has offered 


£2,000 for it ; yet the lumsiial motives leading to sucli an act 
need scarcely be taken into accon.nt as qualifying the generaliza- 
tion that a man will sell to the highest bidder. N"ow, since 
the predominant activities of citizens are determined by motives 
of this degree of regularity, there must be resulting social pheno- 
mena that have corresponding degrees of regularity — greater 
degrees, indeed, since in them the effects of exceptional motivas 
become lost in the effects of the aggregate of ordinary mo- 
tives. Another comment may be added. JVIr. Froude exagge- 
rates the antithesis he draws by using a conception of science which 
is too narrow : he speaks as though there were no science but exact 
science. Scientific previsions, both qualitative and quantitative, 
have various degrees of definiteness ; and because among certain 
classes of phenomena the previsions are approximate only, it is 
not, therefore, to be said that there is no science of those phe- 
nomena : if there is some prevision, there is some science. 
Take, for example. Meteorology. The Derby has been run in a 
snow-storm, and you may occasionally want a fire in July ; but 
such anomalies do not prevent us from being perfectly certain 
that the coming summer will be warmer than the past winter. 
Our south-westerly gales in the autumn may come early or may 
come late, may be violent or moderate, at one time or at inter- 
vals ; but that there will be an excess of wind from the south- 
west at that part of the year we may be sure. The like holds 
with the relations of rain and dry weather to the quantity of 
water in the air and the weight of the atmospheric column : 
though exactly-true predictions cannot be made, approximately- 
true ones can. So that, even were there not among social 
phenomena more definite relations than these (and the all-im- 
portant ones are far more definite), there would still be a Social 
Science. Once more, Mr. Froude contends that ,the facts 
presented in history do not furnish subject-matter for science, 
because they " never repeat themselves," — because " we can 
watch for no recurring fact to test the worth of our conjectures." 
I will not mee.t this assertion by the counter-assertion often 


made, that historic phenomena do repeat themselves ; but, 
admitting that j\Ir. Fronde here tonches on one of the great dijffi- 
culties of the Social Science (that social phenomena are in so 
considerahle a degree different in each case from what they were 
in preceding cases), I still find a sufficient reply. For in no con- 
crete science is there absolute repetition ; and in some concrete 
sciences the repetition is no more specific than in Sociology. 
Even in the most exact of them, Astronomy, the combinations 
are never the same twice over : the repetitions are but approxi- 
mate. And on turning to Geology, we find that, though the 
processes of denudation, deposition, upheaval, subsidence, have 
been ever going on in confonnity with laws more or less clearly 
generalized, the effects have been always new in their propor- 
tions and arrangements ; though not so completely new as to 
forbid comparisons, consequent deductions, and approximate 
previsions based on them. 

Were there no such replies as these to Mr. Fronde's reasons, 
there would still be the reply furnished by his own intei^jreta- 
tions of history ; which make it clear that his denial must be 
understood as but a qualified one. Against his professed theory 
may be set his actual practice, which, as it seems to me, tacitly 
asserts that explanations of some social phenomena in terms of 
cause and effect are possible, if not explanations of all social 
phenomena. Thus, respecting the Vagrancy Act of 1547, which 
made a slave of a confirmed vagi'ant, Mr. Fronde says : — " In 
the condition of things which was now commencing .... 
neither this nor any other penal act against idleness could be 
practically enforced." " That is to say, the operation of an 
agency brought into play was neutralized by the operation of 
natural causes coexisting. Again, respecting the enclosure of 
commons and amalgamation of farms, &c., Mr. Froude writes : 
— " Under the late reign these tendencies had, with great diffi- 
culty, been held partially in check, but on the death of Henry 
they acquired new force and activity." '" Or, in other words, 
certain social forces previously antagonized by certain other 


forces, produced tlieir nattiral effects wlien the antagonism 
ceased. Yet again, Mr. Fronde explains that, " unhappily, two 
causes [debased currency and an alteration of the farming 
system] were operating to produce the rise of prices." '^ And 
throughout Mr. Froude's History of England there are, I need 
scarcely say, other cases in which he ascribes social changes to 
causes rooted in human nature. Moreover, in his lecture on Tlie 
Science of History, there is a distinct enunciation of " one lesson 
of History ; " namely, that " the moral law is written on the 

tablets of eternity Justice and truth alone endure 

and live. Injustice and falsehood may be long-lived, but dooms- 
day comes at last to them, in French revolutions and other 
terrible ways." And elsewhere he says that "the miseries and 
horrors which are now destroying the Chinese Empire are the 
direct and organic results of the moral profligacy of its inhabi- 
tants." " Each of these statements tacitly asserts that certain 
social relations, and actions of certain kinds, are inevitably bene- 
ficial, and others inevitably detrimental — an historic induction 
furnishing a basis for positive deduction. So that we must not 
interpret Mr. Froude too literally when he alleges the " impossi- 
bility of forming scientific calculations of what men will do 
before the fact, or scientific explanations of what they have done 
after the fact." 

Another writer who denies the possibility of a Social Science, 
or who, at any rate, admits it only as a science which has its 
relations of phenomena so traversed by providential influences 
that it does not come within the proper definition of a science, is 
Canon Kingsley. In his address on The Limits of Exact Science 
as applied to History, he says : — 

" You say that as the laws of matter are inevitable, so probably are 
the laws of htunan life ? Be it so : but in what sense are the laws of 
matter inevitable ? Potentially or actually ? Even in the seemingly 
most uniform and universal law, where do we find the inevitable or the 
irresistible] Is there not in nature a perpetual competition of law 
against law, force against force, producing the most endless and unex- 


pected variety of results ? Cannot each, law be interfered with at any 
moment by some other law, so that the first law, though it may struggle 
for the mastery, shall be for an indefinite time utterly defeated ? Tlie 
Jaw of gravity is immutable enough : but do all stones veritably fall to 
the ground ? Certainly not, if I choose to catch one, and keep it in my 
hand. It remains there by laws ; and the law of gravity is there, too, 
making it feel heavy in my hand : but it has not fallen to the ground, 
and will not, till I let it. So much for the inevitable action of the laws 
of gravity, as of others. Potentially, it is immutable ; but actually, it 
can be conquered by other laws." '^ 

This passage, severely criticized, if I remember riglitly, wHen the 
address was originally published, it would be scarcely fair to 
quote were it not that Canon Kingsley has repeated it at a later 
date in his work. The Roman and the Teuton. The very unusual 
renderings of scientiiic ideas which it contains, need here be only 
enumerated. Mr. Kingsley differs profoundly from philosophers 
and men of science, in regarding a law as itself a power or force, 
and so in thinking of one law as " conquered by other laws ; " 
whereas the accepted conception of law is that of an established 
order, to which the manifestations of a power or force conform. 
He enunciates, too, a quite-exceptional view of gravitation. As 
conceived by astronomers and physicists, gi'avitation is a uni- 
versal and ever-acting /orce, which portions of. matter exercise on 
one another when at sensible distances ; and the laio of this force is 
that it varies dii-ectly as the mass and inversely as the square of 
the distance. Mr. Kingsley's view, is that the law of gravitation 
is " defeated " if a stone is prevented from falling to the ground 
— that the law " struggles " (not the force), and that because it 
no longer produces motion, the " inevitable action of the laws of 
gravity " (not of gravity) is suspended : the truth being that 
neither the force nor its law is in the slightest degree modified. 
Further, the theory of natural processes which Mr. Kingsley has 
arrived at, seems to be that when two or more forces (or laws, if 
he prefers it) come into play, there is a partial or complete sus- 
pension of one by another. Whereas the doctrine held by men 


of science is, tLat tlie forces are all in fnll operation, and the 
effect is their resultant ; so that, for example, when a shot is 
fired horizontally from a cannon, the force impressed on it pro- 
duces in a given time just the same amount of horizontal motion 
as though gravity were absent, while gravity produces in that 
same time a fall just equal to that which it would have produced 
had the shot been dropped from the mouth of the cannon. Of 
course, holding these peculiar views of causation as displayed 
among simple physical phenomena, Canon Kingsley is consistent 
in denying historical sequence ; and in saying that " as long as 
man has the mysterious power of breaking the laws of his own 
being, such a sequence not only cannot be discovered, but it 
cannot exist." ^^ At the same time it is manifest that until he 
comes to some agreement with men of science respecting concep- 
tions of forces, of their laws, and of the modes in which phe- 
nomena produced by compositions of forces are interpretable in 
tei-ms of compound laws, no discussion of the question at issue 
can be carried on with profit. 

Without waiting for such an agreement, however, which is 
probably somewhat remote. Canon Kingsley's arg^^ment may be 
met by putting side by side with it some of his own conclusions 
set forth elsewhere. In an edition of Alton Locke published 
since the delivery of the address above quoted from, there is a 
new preface containing, among others, the following pas- 
sages: — 

" The progress towards institutions more and more popular may be 
slow, hut it is sure. Whenever any class has conceiv-ed the hope of 
being fairly represented, it is certain to fulfil its own hopes, unless it 
employs, or provokes, violence impossible in England. The thing will 

1/e.'' . . . "If any young gentlemen look forward to 

a Conservative reaction of any other kind than this .... to 
even the least stoppage of what the world calls progress — which I 
should define as the putting in practice the results of inductive 
science ; — then do they, like King Picrochole in Rabelais, look for 
a kingdom wMch shall be restored to them at the coming of the 
Cocqcigraes." ^^ 


And in a preface addressed to "working men, contained iri an 
earlier edition, lie says : — 

" If you are better off than you -were in 1848, you owe it principally 
to those laws of political economy (as they are called), which I call the 
brute natural accidents of supj)ly and demand," &c.'^ 
Which, passages offer explanations of changes now gone by an 
having been Avronght out by natural forces in conformity with 
natui'al laws, and also predictions of changes which natural 
forces at present in action will work out. That is to say, by the 
kelp of generalized experiences there is an interpretation of past 
phenomena and a prevision of future phenomena. There is an 
implicit recognition of that Social Science which is explicitly 

A reply to tkese criticisms may be imagined. In looking for 
whatever reconciliation is possible between these positions which 
seem so incongruous, we must suppose the intended assertion to 
be, that only general interpretations and previsions can be made, 
not those which are special. Bearing in mind Mr. Fronde's 
occasional explanations of historical phenomena as naturally 
caused, we must conclude that he believes certain classes of 
sociological facts (as the politico-economical) to be scientifically 
explicable, while other classes are not : though, if this be his 
view, it is not clear how, if the results of men's wills, separate 
or aggregated, are incalculable, pohtico-economical actions can 
be dealt with scientifically ; since, equally with other social 
actions, they are determined by aggregated wills. Similai"ly, 
Canon Kingsley, recognizing no less distinctly economical laws, 
and enunciating also certain laws of progress — nay, even 
warning his hearers against the belief that he denies the appli- 
cability of the inductive method to social phenomena, — must be 
assumed to think that the applicability of the inductive method 
is here but j^artial. Citing the title of his address and some of 
its sentences, he may say they imply simply that there are limits 
to the explanation of social facts in precise ways ; though this 
position does not seem really reconcilable with the doctrine tha,'-. 


social laws are liable to be at anj time overruled, providentially 
or otherwise. But, merely hinting these collateral criticisms, 
this reply is to be met by the demurrer that it is beside the 
question. If the sole thing meant is that sociological previsions 
can be approximate only — if the thing denied is the possibility 
of reducing Sociology to the form of an exact science ; then the 
rejoinder is that the thing denied is a thing which no one has 
affirmed. Only a moiety of science is exact science — only pheno- 
mena of certain orders have had their relations expressed quantita- 
tively as well as qualitatively. Of the remaining orders there 
are some produced by factors so numerous and so hard to mea- 
sure, that to develop our knowledge of their relations into the 
quantitative form will be extremely difficult, if not impossible. 
But these orders of phenomena are not therefore excluded from 
the conception of Science. In Geology, in Biology, in Psycho- 
logy, most of the previsions are qualitative only ; and where 
they are quantitative their quarititativeness, never quite definite, 
is mostly very indefinite. Nevertheless we u.nhesitatingly class 
these previsions as scientific. It is thus with Sociology. The 
phenomena it presents, involved in a higher degree than all 
others, are less than all other, capable of precise treatment : such 
of them as can be generalized, can be generalized only within 
wide limits of variation as to time and amount ; and there 
remains much that cannot be generalized. But so far as there 
can be generahzation, and so far as there can be interpretation 
based on it, so far thei-e can be science. Whoever expresses 
political opinions— whoever asserts that such or such public 
arrangements will be beneficial or detrimental, tacitly expresses 
belief in a Social Science ; for he asserts, by implication, that 
there is a natural sequence among social actions, and that as the 
sequence is natural results may be foreseen. 

Reduced to a more concrete form, the case maybe put thus: — 
Mr. Froude and Canon Kingsley both believe to a considerable 
extent in the efficiency of legislation — probably to a greater 
extent than it is believed in by some of those who assert the 


existence of a Social Science. To believe in the efficiency of 
legislation is to believe that certain prospective penalties or 
rewards will act as deterrents or incentives — will modify in- 
dividual conduct, and therefore raodify social action. Though it 
may be impossible to say that a given law will produce a foreseen 
effect on a particular person, yet no doubt is felt that it -will pro- 
duce a foreseen effect on the mass of persons. Though Mr.Fronde, 
when arguing against Mr. Buckle, says that he " would deliver 
himself from the eccentricities of this and that individual by a 
doctrine of averages," but that " unfortunately, the average of 
one generation need not be the average of the next ; " yet Mr. 
Froude himself so far believes in the doctrine of averages as to 
hold that legislative interdicts, with threats of death or im- 
prisonment behind them, will restrain the great majority of 
men in ways which can be predicted. While he contends that 
the results of individual will are incalculable, yet, by approving 
certain laws and condemning others, he tacitly affirms that the 
results of the aggregate of wills are calculable. And if this be 
asserted of the aggregate of w^ills as affected by legislation, it 
must be asserted of the aggregate of wills as affected by social 
influences at large. If it be held that the desire to avoid 
punishment will so act on the average of men as to produce an 
average foreseen result ; then it must also be held that on the 
average of men, the desire to get the greatest return for labour, 
the desii'e to rise into a higher rank of life, the desire to gain 
applause, and so forth, will each of them produce a certain 
average result. And to hold this is to hold that there can be 
prevision of social phenomena, and therefore Social Science. 

In brief, then, the alternative positions are these. On the 
one hand, if there is no natural causation throughoiit the actions 
of incorporated humanity, government and legislation are 
absurd. Acts of Parliament may, as well as not, be made to 
depend on the drawing of lots or the tossing of a coin ; or, 
rather, there may as well be none at all : social sequences having 
no ascertainable order, no effect can be counted up on- — everything 


is chaotic. On tlie other hand, if there is natural causation, 
then the combination of forces by which every combination of 
effects is produced, produces that combination of effects in 
conformity with the laws of the forces. And if so, it behoves 
us to use all diligence in ascertaining what the forces are, 
what are their laws, and what are the ways in which they 

Such further elucidation as is possible will be gained by dis- 
cussing the question to which we now address ourselves — the 
Ifature of the Social Science. Along with a definite idea of 
this, will come a perception that the denial of a Social Science 
has arisen from the confusing of two essentially-different classes 
of phenomena which societies present — the one class, almost 
ignored by historians, constituting the subject-matter of Social 
Science, and the other class, almost exclusively occupying 
them, admitting of scientific co-ordination in a very small 
degree, if at aU. 



Out of bricks, well burnt, bard, and sbarp-angled, Ijing in 
beaps by bis side, tbe bricklayer builds, even -vvitbout mortar, a 
wall of some beigbt tbat bas considerable stability. With 
bricks made of bad materials, irregularly burnt, warped, cracked, 
and many of tbem broken, be cannot build a dry wall of tbe 
same beigbt and stability. Tbe dockyard-labourer, piling can- 
non- sbot, is totally unable to make tbese spberical masses stand 
at all as tbe bricks stand. Tbere. are, indeed, certain definite 
sbapes into wbicb tbey may be piled — tbat of a tetrabedron, 
or tbat of a pyramid baving a square base, or tbat of an elon- 
gated wedge allied to tbe pyramid. In any of tbese forms tbey 
may be put togetber symmetrically and stably ; but not in forms 
witb vertical sides or bigbly-incliued sides. Once more, if, 
instead of equal spberical sbot, tbe masses to be piled are 
boulders, partially but irregularly rounded, and of various sizes, 
no definite stable form is possible. A loose beap, indefinite 
in its surface and angles, is all tbe labourer can make of 
tbem. Putting wbicb several facts together, and asking -wbat 
is tbe most general truth they imply, we see it to be this — that 
the character of tbe aggregate is determined by tbe chai-acters 
of the units. 

If we pass from units of these visible, tangible kinds, to the 
units contemplated by chemists and physicists as making up 
masses of matter, the same ti'uth meets us. Each so-called ele- 


ment, each, combiuation of elements, each re- combination of the 
compounds, has a form of crystallization. Though its crystals 
differ in their sizes, and are liable to be modified by truncations of 
angles and apices, as well as by partial mergings into one another, 
yet the type of structure, as shown by cleavage, is constant: 
particular kinds of molecules severally have particular shapes 
into which, they settle themselves as they aggregate. And 
though in some cases it happens that a substance, simple or 
compound, has two or even more forms of aggregation, yet the 
recognized interpretation is, that these different forms are the 
forms assumed by molecules made different in their structures 
by allotropic or isomeric changes. So constant is the relatiois. 
between the nature of any molecules and their mode of crystal- 
lizing, that, given two kinds of molecules which, are known, from 
their chemical actions, to be closely allied in their natures, and 
it is inferred* -with, certainty that their crystals will be closely 
allied. In brief, it may be unhesitatingly affirmed, as an out- 
come of physics and chemistry, that throughout all phenomena 
presented by dead matter, the natures of the units necessitate 
certain traits in the aggregates. 

This truth, is again exemplified by aggregates of living 
matter. In the substance of each species of plant or animal, 
there is a proclivity towards the structure which that plant or 
animal presents — a proclivity conclusively proved in cases where 
the conditions to the maintenance of life are sufficiently simple, 
and where the tissue has not assumed a structui-e too finished to 
permit re-arrangement. The perpetually-cited case of the polype, 
each, part of which, when it is cut into several, presently puts on 
the polype-shape, and gains structures and powers like those of 
the original whole, illustrates this truth, among animals. Among 
plants it is well exemplified by the Begonias. Here a complete 
plant grows from a fragment of a leaf stuck in the ground ; and, 
in Begonia phyllomaniaca, complete plants grow even out of 
scales that fall from the leaves and the stem — a fact showing, 
like the fact wliich the polype furnishes, that the units every- 


wlicre present, have for tlicir type of aggregation the type of the 
organism tliey belong to ; and reminding us of the universal 
fact that the units composing every germ, animal or vegetal, 
have a proclivity toAvards the parental type of aggregation. 

Thus, given the natures of the units, and the nature of the 
aggregate they form is pre-determined. I say the nature, mean- 
ing, of course, the essential traits, and not including the inci- 
dental. By the characters of the units are necessitated certain 
limits within which the characters of the aggregate must fall. 
The circumstances attending aggregation gi'eatly modify the re- 
sults ; but the truth here to be recognized is, that these circum- 
stances, in some cases perhaps preventing aggregation altogether, 
in other cases impeding it, in other cases facilitating it more or 
less, can never give to the aggregate, chai-acters that do not con- 
sist with the characters of the units. No favouring conditions 
will give the labourer power to pile cannon-shot into a vertical 
wall ; no favouring conditions will make it possible for common 
salt, which crystallizes on the regular system, to crystallize, like 
sulphate of soda, on the oblique prismatic system ; no favouring 
conditions will enable the fi'agment of a polype to take on the 
structure of a mollusk. 

Among such social aggregates as inferior creatures fall into, 
more or less definitely, the same truth holds. Whether they 
live in a mere assemblage, or whether they live in something 
like an organized union with division of labour among its mem- 
bers, as happens in many cases, is unquestionably determined by 
the properties of the units. Given the stinicturcs and consequent 
instincts of the individuals as we find them, and the community 
they form Avill inevitably present certain traits ; and no com- 
munity having such traits can be formed out of individuals 
Iiaving other structures and instincts. 

Those who have been brought up in the belief that there is 
one law for the rest of the Universe and another law for man- 
kuid, will doubtless be astonished by the proposal to include 


aggregates of men in this generalization. And yet that the 
properties of the units determine the properties of the whole 
they make up, evidently holds of societies as of other things. A 
general survey of tribes and nations, past and present, shows 
clearly enough that it is so ; and a brief consideration of the 
conditions shows, with no less clearness, that it must be so. 

Ignoring for the moment the special traits of races and indi- 
viduals, observe the traits common to members of the species at 
large ; and consider how these must aifect their relations when 

They have all needs for food, and have corresponding desires. 
To all of them exertion is a physiological expense ; must bring a 
certain return in nutriment, if it is not to be detrimental ; and 
is accompanied by i"epugnance when pushed to excess, or 
even before reaching it. They are all of them liable to bodily 
injury, with accompanying pain, from various extreme physical 
actions ; and they are liable to emotional pains, of positive and 
negative kinds, from one another's actions. As says Shylock, 
insisting on that human nature which Jews have in common 
with Christians — 

" Hath not a Jew eyes ? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions 
senses, affections, passions ? fed with the same food, hurt A\ith the same 
Aveapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, 
warmed and cooled by tlie same winter and summer, as a Christian is I 
If you prick us, do we not bleed ? if you tickle us, do we not laugh ? 
if you poison us, do we not die ? and if you wrong us, shall we 
not revenge 1 If we are Hke you ia the rest, we will resemble you in 

Conspicuotis, however, as is this possession of certain funda- 
mental qualities by all individuals, there is no adequate recogni- 
tion of the truth that from these individual qualities must result 
certain qualities in an assemblage of individuals ; that in pro- 
portion as the, individuals forming one assemblage are like in 
their qualities to the individuals forming another assemblage, 
the two assemblages vnl\ have likenesses ; and that the assem- 

E 2 


Wages "will differ in their characters in proportion as the compo- 
nent individuals of the one differ from those of the other. Yet 
when this, which is almost a truism, has been admitted, it can- 
not be denied that in every community there is a group of 
phenomena growing naturally out of the phenomena jjrcsented 
by its members — a set of properties in the aggregate determined 
by the sets of properties in the units ; and that the relations of 
the two sets form the subject-matter of a science. It needs but 
to ask what would happen if men avoided one another, as various 
iixfcrior creatures do, to see that the very possibility of a society 
depends on a certain emotional property in the individual. It 
needs but to ask what would happen if each man liked best the 
men who gave him most pain, to perceive that social relations, 
supposing them to be possible, would be utterly unlike the social 
relations resulting from the greater liking which men indivi- 
dually have for others who give them pleasure. It needs but to 
ask what would happen if, instead of ordinarily preferring the 
easiest ways of achieving their ends, men preferred to achieve 
their ends in the most troublesome ways, to infer that then, a 
society, if one could exist, would be a widely- different society 
from any we know. And if, as these extreme cases show us, 
cardinal traits in societies are determined by cardinal traits in 
men, it cannot be questioned that less-marked traits in societies 
are determined by less-marked traits in men; and that there 
must everywhere be a consensus between the special structures 
and actions of the one and the special stractures and actions of 
the other. 

Setting out, then, with this general principle, that the pro- 
.perties of the units determine the properties of the aggregate, 
we conclude that there must be a Social Science expressing the 
relations between the two, with as much definiteness as the 
natures of the phenomena permit. Beginning with types of men 
who form but small and incoherent social a^grpgates, such a 
science has to show in what ways the individual qualities, intel- 
lectual and emotional, negative further aggregation. It has to 



explain how sliglit modifications of individual nature, arising 
under modified conditions of life, make somewliat larger aggre- 
gates possible. It has to trace out, in aggregates of some size, 
the genesis of the social relations, regulative and operative, into 
which the members fall. It has to exhibit the stronger and 
more prolonged social influences which, by further modifying 
the characters of the units, facilitate further aggregation with 
consequent further complexity of social structure. Among 
societies of all orders and sizes, from the smallest and rudest up 
to the largest and most civilized, it has to ascertain what traits 
there are in common, determined by the common traits of human 
beings ; what less-general traits, distinguishing certain groups 
of societies, result from traits distinguishing certain races of 
men ; and what peculiarities in each society are traceable to the 
peculiarities of its members. In every case it has for its subject- 
matter the growth, development, structure, and functions of the 
social aggregate, as brought about by the mutual actions of indi- 
viduals whose natures are partly like those of all men, partly 
like those of kindred races, partly distinctive. 

These phenomena of social evolution have, of course, to be 
explained with due reference to the conditions each society is 
exposed to — the conditions furnished by its locality and by its 
relations to neighbouring societies. Noting this merely to 
prevent possible misapprehensions, the fact which here concerns 
us, is, not that the Social Science exhibits these or those special 
truths, bat that, given men having certain properties, and an 
aggregate of such men must have certain derivative properties 
which form the subject-matter of a science. 

" But were we not told some pa.ges back, that in societies, 
causes and effects are related in ways so involved that prevision 
is often impossible ? Were we not warned against rashly taking- 
measures for achieving this or that desideratum., regardless of 
the proofs, so abundantly supplied by the past, that agencies set 
in action habitually work out results never foreseen ? And were 


not instances giv^en of all-important changes that were due to 
i lifluences from which no one would have anticipated them ? If 
so, how can there be a Social Science ? If Louis Napoleon could 
not have expected that the war he began to prevent the consoli- 
dation of Grermany, would be the very means of consolidating it ; 
if to M. Thiers, five-and-twenty years ago, it would have seemed 
a dream exceeding all ordinary dreams in absurdity, that he 
would be fired at from his own fortifications ; how in the 
name of wonder is it possible to formulate social phenomena in 
anything approaching scientific order ?" 

The difficulty thus put in as strong a form as I can find for it, 
is that which, clearly or vaguely, rises in the minds of most to 
whom Sociology is proposed as a subject to be studied after 
scientific methods, with the expectation of reaching results having 
scientific certainty. Before giving to the question its special 
answer, let me give it a general answer. 

The science of Mechanics has reached a development higher 
than has been reached by any but the purely-abstract sciences. 
Though we may not call it perfect, yet the great accuracy of the 
predictions which its ascertained principles enable astronomers to 
make, shows how near to perfection it has come ; and the achieve- 
ments of the skilful artillery- ofiicer prove that in their applica- 
tions to terrestrial motions these principles yield previsions of 
considerable exactness. But now, taking Mechanics as the type 
of a highly-developed science, let us note what it enables us to 
predict, and what it does not enable us to predict, respecting 
some concrete phenomenon. Say that there is a mine to be 
exploded. Ask what will happen to the fragments of matter 
sent into the air. Then observe how much we can infer from 
established dynamical laws. By that common observation Avhich 
precedes the more exact observations of science, we are taught 
that all the fragments, having risen to heights more or less 
various, will fall ; that they will reach the ground at scattered 
places within a circumscribed area, and at somewhat different 
times. Science enables us to say more than this. From those 


same principles -vvlience are inferable tlie patli of a planet or a 
jirojec'tile, it deduces tlie truth, tliat each fragment will describe 
a curve ; that all the curves, though individually different, will 
be specifically alike ; that (ignoring deviations caused by atmos- 
pheric resistance) they Avill severally be portions of ellijDses so 
eccentric as to be indistinguishable from parabolas — such parts 
of them, at least, as are described after the rush of gases ceases 
further to accelerate the fragments. But while the principles of 
^Mechanics help us to these cei'tainties, we cannot leai'n from 
them anything more definite respecting the courses that will bo 
taken by particular fragments. Whether, of the mass overlying 
the powder to be exploded, the part on the left will be propelled 
upAvards in one fragment or several ? whether this piece will be 
shot higher than that ? whether any, and if so, which, of the 
projected masses will be stopped in their courses by adjacent 
objects they strike ? — are questions it cannot answer. Not that 
there will he any want of confortnity to laio in these results ; but 
that the data on which predictions of them are to be based, can- 
not be obtained. 

Observe, then, that respecting a concrete phenomenon of some 
complexity, the most exact science enables us to make predic- 
tions that are mainly general, or only partially special. Seeing 
that this is so, even where the causes and effects are not greatly 
involved, and where the science of them is well developed, much 
more may we expect it to be so among the most involved causes 
and effects, the science of which is but rudimentary. This con- 
trast between the generalities that admit of prevision and the 
specialities that do not admit of prevision, will be still more 
clearly seen on passing from this preliminary illustration to 
. an illustration in which the analogy is closer. 

What can we say about the future of this newly-born child ? 
Will it die of some disorder during infancy ? Will it survive 
awhile, and be carried off by scarlet fever or whooping-cough ? 
Will it have measles or small-pox, and succumb to one or the 


otlier ? None of these questions can be answered. Will it some 
day fall down-stairs, or be run over, or set fire to its clothes ; 
and be killed or maimed by one or other of these accidents ? 
These questions also have no answers. None can tell whether in 
boyhood there may come epilepsy, or St. Vitus's dance, or other 
formidable affection. Looking at the child now in the nurse's 
arms, none can foresee with certainty that it will be stuj^id or 
intelligent, tractable or perverse. Equally beyond possibility of 
prediction are those events which, if it survives, will occur to it 
in maturity — partly caused by its own nature, and partly by 
surrounding conditions. Whether there will come the success 
due to skill and perseverance ; whether the circumstances will 
be such as to give these scope or not ; whether accidents will 
thwart or favour efforts ; are wholly-iinanswcrable inquiries. 
That is to say, the facts we ordinarily class as biographical, do 
not admit of prevision. 

If from quite special facts we turn to facts somewhat loss 
special which the life of this infant will present, we find, among 
those that are gttasi-biogi'aphical, a certain degree of prevision 
possible. Though the unfolding of the faculties is variable 
within limits, going on here precociously and there with unusual 
slowness, yet there is such order in the unfolding as enables us 
to say that the child will not be a mathematician or a dramatist 
at three years old, will not be a psychologist by the time he is 
ten, will not reach extended political conceptions while his voice 
is still unbroken. Moreover, of the emotional nature we may 
make certain predictions of a kindred order. Whether he will 
many or not, no one can say ; but it is possible to say, if not 
with certainty still with much probability, that after a certain 
age an inclination to marry will arise ; and though none can tell 
whether he will have children, yet that, if he has, some amount 
of the paternal feeling will be manifested, may be concluded as 
very likely. 

But now if, looking at the entire assemblage of facts that will 
be presented during the life of this infant as it becomes matui-e, 


decays, and dies, we pass over tlie biographical and quasi- 
biograpliical, as admitting of either no prevision or but imperfect 
prevision ; we iind I'emaining classes of facts tliat may be asserted 
beforehand : some with a high degree of probability, and some 
with certainty — some with great definiteness and some within 
moderate limits of variation. I refer to the facts of growth, 
development, structure, and function. 

Along with that love of personalities which exalts everything 
inconstant in human life into a matter of interest, there goes 
the habit of regarding whatever is constant in human life as a 
matter of no interest ; and so, when contemplating the future of 
the infant, there is a tacit ignoring of all the vital phenomena it 
will exhibit — phenomena that are alike knowable and important 
to be known. The anatomy and physiology of Man, comprehend- 
ing under these names not only the structures and functions of 
the adult, but the progi'essive establishment of these structures 
and functions during individual evolution, form the subject- 
matter of what every one recognizes as a science. Though there 
is imperfect exactness in the generalized coexistences and 
sequences making up this science ; though general truths respect- 
ing structures are met by occasional exceptions in the way of 
malformations ; though anomahes of function also occur to nega- 
tive absolute prediction ; though there are considerable variations 
of the limits within which growth and structure may range, and 
considerable differences between the rates of functions and 
between the times at which functions are established ; yet no one 
doubts that the biological phenomena presented by the human 
body, may be organized into a knowledge having the definiteness 
which constitutes it scientific, in the understood sense of that 

If, now, any one, insisting on the incalculableness of a child's 
future, biographically considered, asserted that the child, there- 
fore, presented no subject-matter for science, ignoring altogether 
what we will for the moment call its anthropology (though the 
meaning now given to the word scarcely permits this use of it). 


lie would fall into a conspicuous eiTor — an error in this case made 
conspicuous because we are able daily to observe the difference 
between an account of the living body, and an account of its 
conduct and the events that occur to it. 

The reader doubtless anticipates the analogy. What Biography 
is to Anthropology, History is to Sociology— History, I mean, as 
commonly conceived. The kind of relation which the sayings - 
and doings that make up the ordinary account of a man's life, 
bear to an account of his bodily and mental evolution, structural 
and functional, is like the kind of relation borne by that narra- 
tive of a nation's actions and fortunes its historian gives us, to 
a description of its institutions, regulative and operative, and the 
ways in which their structures and functions have gradually 
established themselves. And if it is an error to say that there 
is no Science of Man, because the events of a man's life cannot 
be foreseen, it is equally an error to say that there is no Science 
of Society, because there can be no prevision of the occurrences 
which make up ordinary history. 

Of course, I do not say that the parallel between an individual 
organism and a social organism is so close, that the distinction 
to be clearly drawn in the one case may be drawn with like 
clearness in the other. The structures and functions of the 
social organism are obviously far less specific, far more modi- 
fiable, far more dependent on conditions that are variable and 
never twice alike. All I mean is that, as in the one case so in 
the other, there lie underneath the phenomena of conduct, not 
forming subject-matter for science, certain vital phenomena, 
which do form subject-matter for science. Just as in the man 
there are structures and functions which make possible the 
doings his biographer tells of, so in the nation there are struc- 
tui'es and functions which make possible the doings its historian 
tells of ; and in both cases it is with these structures and functions, 
in their origin, development, and decline, that science is con- 


To make better tlie parallel, and further to explain the nature 
of the Social Science, we must say that the morphology and 
physiology of Society, instead of corresponding to the morphology 
and physiology of Man, correspond rather to morphology and 
physiology in general. Social organisms, like individual organ- 
isms, are to he arranged into classes and sub-classes — not, indeed, 
into classes and sub-classes having anything like the same defi- 
niteness or the same constancy, but nevertheless having like- 
nesses and differences which justify the putting of them into 
major groups most-markedly contrasted, and, within these, 
arranging them in minor groups less-markedly contrasted. And 
just as Biology discovers certain general traits of development, 
structure, and function, holding throughout all organisms, others 
holding throughout certain great grotips, others throughout 
certain sub-groups these contain ; so Sociology has to recognize 
truths of social development, structure, and function, that are 
some of them universal, some of them general, some of them 

For, recalling the conclusion previously reached, it is manifest 
that in so far as human beings, considered as social units, have 
properties in common, the social aggi'egates they form will have 
properties in common ; that likenesses of nature holding through- 
out certain of the huma,n races, will originate likenesses of nature 
in the nations arising out gf them ; and that such peculiar traits 
as are possessed by the highest varieties of men, must result in 
distinctive characters possessed in common by the communities 
into which they organize themselves. 

So that whether we look at the matter in the abstract or in 
the concrete, we reach the same conclusion. We need but to 
glance, on the one hand, at the varieties of uncivilized men and 
the structures of their tribes, and, on the other hand, at the 
varieties of civilized men and the structures of their nations, to 
see inference verified by fact. And thus recognizing, both cl 
priori and a •posteriori, these relations between the phenomena of 
individual human nature and the phenomena of incorporated 


human nattire, we cannot fail to see that the phenomena of 
incorporated human natui'e form the subject-matter of a science. 

And now to make more definite the conception of a Social 
Science thus shadowed forth in a general way, let me set down 
a few truths of the kind indicated. Some that I propose to 
name are very familiar ; and others I add, not because of their 
interest or importance, but because they are easy of exposition. 
The aim is simply to convey a clear idea of the nature of socio- 
logical truths. 

Take, first, the general fact that along with social aggregation 
there always goes some kind of organization. In the very lowest 
stages, where the assemblages are very small and very incoherent, 
there is no estabhshed subordination — no centre of control. 
Chieftainships of settled kinds come only along with larger 
and more coherent aggregates. The evolution of a govern- 
mental structure having some strength and permanence, is the 
condition under which alone any considerable growth of a society 
can take place. A differentiation of the originally-homogeneous 
mass of units into a co-ordinating part and a co-ordinated part, 
is the indispensable initial step. 

Along with evolution of societies in size there goes e\?olution 
of their co-ordinating centres ; which, having become permanent, 
presently become more or less complex. In small tribes, chief- 
tainship, generally wanting in stabiHty, is quite simple ; but as 
tribes become larger by growth, or by reduction of other tribes 
to subjection, the co-ordinating apparatus begins to develop by 
the addition of subordinate governing agencies. 

Simple and familiar as are these facts, we are not, therefore, 
to overlook their significance. That men rise into the state of 
social aggregation only on condition that they lapse into rela- 
tions of inequality in respect of power, and are made to co-operate 
as a whole only by the agency of a structure securing obedience, 
is none the less a fact in science because it is a trite fact. This 
is a primary common trait in social aggregates derived from a 


common trait in their units. It is a truth in Sociology, com- 
parable to tlie biological truth that the first step in the produc- 
tion of any living organism, high or low, is a certain differentiatioi^ 
•whereby a periphei'al portion becomes distinguished from a 
central portion. And such exceptions to this biological truth as 
we find in those minute non-nucleated portions of protoplasm 
that are the very lowest living things, are paralleled by those 
exceptions to the sociological truth, seen in the small incoherent 
assemblages formed by the very lowest types of men. 

The differentiation of the regulating part and the regulated 
part, is, in small primitive societies, not only imperfectly esta- 
blished but vague. The chief does not at first become unlike 
his fellow-savages in his functions, otherwise than by exercising 
greater sway. He hunts, makes his weapons, works, and manages 
his private affairs, in just the same ways as the rest ; while in 
war he differs from other warriors only by his predominant 
influence, not by ceasing to be a private soldier. And along 
with this slight separation from the rest of the tribe in military 
functions and industrial functions, there is only a slight sepa- 
i-ation politically : judicial action is but very feebly represented 
by exercise of his personal authority in keeping order. 

At a higher stage, the power of the chief being well established, 
he no longer supports himself. Still he remains undistinguished 
industrially from other members of the dominant class, which 
has grown up while chieftainship has been getting settled ; for 
he simply gets productive work done by deputy, as they do. 
Nor is a further extension of his power accompanied by com- 
plete separation of the political from the industrial functions ; 
for he habitually remains a regulator of production, and in many 
cases a regulator of trade, presiding over acts of exchange. Of 
his several controlling activities, this last is, however, the one 
which he first ceases personally to carry on. Industry early 
shows a tendency towards self-control, apart from the control 
which the chief exercises more and more as political and military 
head. The primary social differentiation which we have noted 


between tlic regulative part and the operative part, is presently 
followed by a distinction, which eventually becomes very marked, 
between the internal arrangements of the two parts : the opera- 
tive i^art slowly developing within itself agencies by which pro- 
cesses of production, distribution, and exchange are co-ordinated, 
while co-ordination of the noli- operative part continues on its 
original footing. 

Along with a development which renders conspicuous the 
separation of the operative and regulative structures, there goes 
a development within the regulative structures themselves. The 
';hief, at first uniting the characters of king, judge, captain, and 
often priest, has his functions more and more specialized as the 
Bvolution of the society in size and complexity advances. Though 
remaining supreme judge, he does most of his judging by depiity ; 
though remaining nominally head of his army, the actual leading 
of it falls more and more into the hands of subordinate officers ; 
though still retaining ecclesiastical supremacy, his priestly func- 
tions practically almost cease ; though in theory the maker and 
administrator of the law, the actual making and administration 
lapse more and more into other hands. So that, stating the factg 
broadly, out of the original co-ordinating agent having imdivided 
functions, there eventually develop several co-ordinating agencies 
which divide these functions among them. 

Each of these agencies, too, follows the same law. Originally 
simple, it step by step subdivides into many parts, and becomes 
an organization, administrative, judicial, ecclesiastical, or mili- 
tary, having graduated classes within itself, and a more or less 
distinct form of government within itself. 

I will not complicate this statement by doing more than recog- 
nizing the variations that occur in cases where supreme power 
does not lapse into the hands of one man (which, however, in 
early stages of social evolution is an unstable modification). 
And I must explain that the above general statements are to be 
taken with the qualification that difFerences of detail are passed 
over to gain brevity and clearness. Add to which that it is 


beside the purpose of the argument to carry the description be- 
yond these first stages. But duly bearing in mind that without 
here elaborating a Science of Sociology, nothing more than a 
rude outline of cardinal facts can be given, enough has been said 
to show that in the development of social structures, there may 
be recognized certain most-general facts, certain less-general 
facts, and certain facts successively more special ; just as there 
may be recognized general and special facts of evolution in indi- 
vidual organisms. 

To extend, as well as to make clearer, this conception of the 
Social Science, let me here set down a question which comes 
within its sjjhere. ^Vhat is the relation in a society between 
structure and growth ? Up to what point is structure necessary 
to growth ? after what point does it retard growth ? at what 
point does it arrest growth. ? 

There exists in the individual organism a duplex relation 
between growth and structiu-e which it is difficult adequately to 
express. Excluding the cases of a few low organisms living 
under special conditions, we may properly say that great growth 
is not possible without high structure. The whole animal 
kingdom, throughout its invertebrate and vertebrate types, may 
be cited in evidence. On the other hand, among the superior 
organisms, and especially among those leading active lives, 
'there is a marked tendency .for completion of structure to go 
ulong with arrest of growth. While an animal of elevated type 
is growing rapidly, its organs continue imperfectly developed — 
the bones remain partially cartilaginous, the muscles are soft, 
the brain lacks definiteness ; and the details of structure through- 
out all parts are finished only after gi'owth has ceased. Why 
these relations are as we find them, it is not difficult to see. 
That a young animal may grow, it must digest, circulate blood, 
breathe, excrete waste products, and so forth ; to do which it 
jnust have tolerably-complete viscera, vascular system, &c. 
That it may eventually become able to get its own food, it has 
to develop gi'adually the needful appliances and aptitudes ; to 


■\vliich end it must begin witli limbs, and senses, and nervong 
system, tliat Lave considerable degrees of efficiency. But along 
with every increment of growth achieved by the help of these 
partially-developed structures, there has to go an alteration of 
the structures themselves. If they were rightly adjusted to the 
preceding smaller size, they are wrongly adjusted to the succeed- 
ing gi-eatcr size. Hence they must be re-moulded — un-built 
and re-built. ]\Ianifestly, therefore, in proportion as the previous 
building has been complete, there arises a great obstacle in the 
shape of un-building and re-building. The bones show 

us how this difficulty is met. In the thigh-bone of a boy, 
for instance, there exists between the head and the cylindrical 
part of the bone, a place where the original cartilaginous state 
continues ; and where, by the addition of new cartilage in which 
new osseous matter is deposited, the shaft of the bone is 
lengthened : the like going on in an answering place at the 
other end of the shaft. Complete ossification at these two 
places occurs only when the bone has ceased to increase in 
length ; and, on considering what would have happened had the 
bone been ossified from end to end before its lengthening Avas 
complete, it will be seen how gi'eat an obstacle to growth is thus 
escaped. What holds here, holds thi'oughout the organism : 
though structure up to a certain point is requisite for growth, 
structure beyond that point impedes gi'OAvth. How neces- 

sary is this relation we shall equally perceive in a more 
complex case — say, the growth of an entire limb. There is a 
certain size and proportion of parts, which a limb ordinarily has 
in relation to the rest of the body. Throw upon that lim b exti'a 
function, and within moderate limits it will increase in strencrth 
and bulk. If the extra function begins early in life, the limb 
may be raised considci'ably above its usual size ; but if the extra 
function begins after matmity, the deviation is less : in neither 
case, however, being great. If we consider how increase of the 
limb is effected, we shall see why this is so. More active 
function brings a greater local supply of blood ; and, for a time, 



new tissue is formed in excess of waste. But tlie local supply 
of blood is limited by tbe sizes of tlie arteries which, bring it ; 
and though, up to a certain point, increase of flow is gained by 
temporary dilatation of them, yet beyond that point increase 
can be gained only by un-building and re-building the arteries. 
Such alterations of arteries slowly take place — less slowly with 
the smaller peripheral ones, more slowly with the larger ones 
, out of which these branch ; since these have to be altered all the 
way back to their points of divergence from the great central 
blood vessels. In like manner, the channels for carrying off 
waste products must be re-modelled, both locally and centrally. 
The nerve-trunks, too, and also the centres fi'om which they 
come, must be adjiTsted to the greater demands upon them. 
ITay, more ; with a given visceral system, a large extra quantity 
of blood cannot be permanently given to one part of the body, 
without decreasing the quantities given to other parts ; and, 
therefore, structural changes have to be made by which the 
drafting-off of blood to these other parts is diminished. Hence 
the gi'eat resistance to increase in the size of a limb beyond a 
certain moderate limit. Such increase cannot be effected without 'j 
un-biiilding and re-building not only the parts that directly ' 
minister to the limb, but, eventually, all the remoter parts. So 
that the bringing of structures into perfect fitness for certain re- 
quirements, immensely hinders the adaptation of them to other 
requirements — re-adjustments become difficult in proportion as 
adjustments are made complete. 

How far does this law hold in the social organism ? To what 
extent does it happen here, too, that the multiplying and elabo- 
rating of institutions, and the pei'fecting of arrangements for 
gaining immediate ends, raise impediments to the development 
of better institutions and to the future gaining of higher ends ? 
Socially, as well as individually, organization is indispensable to 
growth : beyond a certain point there cannot be further growth 
without further organization. Tet there is not a little reason 
for suspecting that beyond this point organization is indii-ectly 


repressive — increases the obstacles to those re-adjustments re- 
quired for larger growth and more perfect structure. Doubtless 
the aggregate we call a society is much more plastic than an 
individual living aggregate to which it is here compared — its 
typ© is far less fixed. Nevertheless, there is evidence that its 
type tends continually to become fixed, and that each addition 
to its structures is a step towards the fixation. A few instances 
will show how this is true alike of the material structures a 
society develops and of its institutions, political or other. 

Cases, insignificant, perhaps, but quite to the point, are 
furnished by our appHances for locomotion. Not to dwell on 
the minor ones within cities, which, however, show us that 
existing arrangements are impediments to better airangements, 
let us pass to railways. Observe how the inconveniently-narrow 
gauge (which, taken from that of stage-coach wheels, was itself 
inherited from an antecedent system of locomotion), has become 
an insuperable obstacle to a better gauge. Observe, also, how 
the type of carriage, which was derived from the body of a 
stage-coach (some of the early first-class carnages bearing the 
words '''' tria juncta in mwo"), having become established, it is 
immensely difiicult now to introduce the more convenient type 
later established in America ; where they profited by our ex- 
perience, but were not hampered by our adopted plans. The 
enormous capital invested in our stock of carriages cannot be 
sacrificed. Gradually to introduce carriages of the American 
type, by running them along with those of our own type, would 
be very difficult, because of our many partings and joinings 
of trains. And thus we are obliged to go on with a type that is 

Take, again, our system of drainage. Urged on as it was 
some thirty years ago as a panacea for sundry sanitary evils, and 
spread as it has been by force of law through all our great towns, 
this system cannot now be replaced by a better system without 
extreme difficulty. Though, by necessitating decomposition where 
oxygen cannot get, and so generating chemical compounds that 


are unstable and poisonous, it has in many cases produced the 
very diseases it was to have prevented ; though, hy delivering 
the morbid products from fever-patients, &c., into a branching 
tube which, communicating with all houses, effectually conveys 
to them infecting gases that are kept out only so long as stink- 
traps are in good order ; yet it has become almost out of the 
question now to adopt those methods by which the excreta of 
to"s\Tis may be got rid of at once innocuously and usefully. N^ay, 
worse — one part of our sanitary administration having insisted 
on a sewage-system by which Oxford, Reading, Maidenhead, 
Windsor, &c., pollute the water London has to drink, another 
part of our sanitary administration makes loud protests against 
the impuiity of the water, which it charges with causing disease 
(not remarking, however, that law-enforced arrangements have 
produced the impurity). And now there must be a re-organi- 
zation that wiU be immensely impeded by the existing pre- 
mature organization, before we can have either pure air or pure 

Our mercantile arrangements, again, furnish abundant illus- 
brations teaching the same lesson. In each trade there is an 
stablished course of business ; and however obvious may be 
5ome better course, the difficulties of altering the settled routine 
ire, if not insurmountable, still very considerable. Take, for 
nstance, the commerce of literature. In days when a letter cost 
I shilling and no book-post existed, there gi'ew up an organiza- 
ion of wholesalers and retailers to convey books from publisliers 
o readers : a profit being reaped by each distributing agent, 
)rimary and secondary. Now that a book may be ordered for 
I, half -penny and sent for a few pence, the old system of distri- 
mtion might be replaced by one that would diminish the cost of 
ransfer, and lower the prices of books. But the interests of 
listributors practically negative the change. An advertised 
)roposal to supply a book direct by post at a reduced rate, 
•fiends the trade ; and by ignoring the book they check its sale 
aore than its sale is otherwise furthered. And so an old 

F 2 


organization, once very serviceable, now stands in the way of a 
better organization. The commerce of literature furnishes 

another illustration. At a time when the reading public was 
small and books were dear, there grew up circulating libraries, 
enabling people to read books without buying them. At first 
few, local, and unorganized, these circulating libraries have 
greatly multiplied, and have become organized throughout the 
kingdom : the result being that the demand for library-circula- 
tion is in many cases the chief demand. This arrangement being 
one which makes few copies supply many readers, the price per 
copy must be high, to obtain an adequate return on the edition. 
And now reading people in general, having been brought up to the 
habit of getting books through libraries, usually do not think of 
buying the books themselves — would still get most of them 
through libraries even were they considerably cheapened. We 
are, therefore, except with works of very popular authors, pre- 
vented by the existing system of book-distribution in England 
from adopting the American system — a system which, not 
adjusting itself to few libraries but to many private purchasers, < 
issues large editions at low prices. 

Instances of another class are supplied by our educational ' 
institutions. Richly endowed, strengthened by their prestige, ' 
and by the bias given to those they have brought up, our 
colleges, public schools, and other kindred schools early founded, . 
useful as they once were, have long been enormous impediments •', 
to a higher education. By siibsidizing the old, they have 
starved the new. Even now they are retarding a cultui-e better,] 
in matter and manner ; both by occupying the field, and by par-i 
tially incapacitating those who pass through them for set' in ;,^ 
what a better culture is. Evidence of a kindred kind is 

oiicred by the educational organization developed for deal in.,' 
with the masses. The struggle going on between Secularisia 
and Denominationalism in teaching, might alone show to anv 
one who looks for the wider meanings of facts, that a structnro 
which has ramified throughout a society, acquired an armv 



(if salaried officials looking for personal welfare and promo- 
tion, backed by classes, ecclesiastical and political, whose ideas 
jiiid interests tliey further, is a structure which, if not unalter- 
able, is difficxdt to alter in proportion as it is highly developed. 

These few examples, which might be supported by others from 
the miKtary organization, the ecclesiastical organization, the 
legal organization, will make comprehensible the analogy I have 
indicated ; while they make clearer the nature of the Social 
Science, by bringing into view one of its questions. That with 
social organisms, as with individual organisms, structure up to 
a certain point is needful for growth is obvious. That in the 
one case, as in the other, continued growth implies un-building 
and re-building of structure, which therefore becomes in so far 
an impediment, seems also obvious. Whether it is true in the 
one case, as in the other, that completion of structure involves 
arrest of growth, and fixes the society to the type it has then 
reached, is a question to be considered. Without saying any- 
thing more by way of answer, it is, I think, manifest enough 
that this is one belonging to an order of questions entirely over- 
looked by those who contemplate societies from the ordinary 
historical point of view ; and one pertaining to that Social 
Science which they say does not exist. 

Are there any who utter the cui hono criticism ? Probably 
not a few. I think I hear from some whose mental attitude is 
familiar to me, the doubt whether it is worth while to ask what 
happens among savage tribes ; in what way chiefs and medicine, 
men arise ; how the industrial functions become separated from 
the political ; what are the original relations of the regulative 
classes to one another ; how far the social structure is deter- 
mined by the emotional natures of individuals, how far by their 
ideas, how far by their environment. Busied as men of this 
stamp are with what they call " practical legislation" (by which 
they seemingly mean legislation that recognises proximate causes 
and effects wHle ignoring remote ones), they doubt whether con- 


elusions of tlie kind Social Science proposes to draw, are good 
for much when drawn. 

Something may, hoAvever, be said in defence of this study 
which they thus estimate. Of course, it is not to be put on the 
same level with those historical studies so deeply interesting to 
them. The supi-eme value of knowledge respecting the genea« 
logics of kings, and the fates of dynasties, and the quarrels of 
courts, is beyond question. Whether or not the plot for the 
murder of Amy Robsart was contrived by Leicester himself, with 
Queen Elizabeth as an accomplice ; and whether or not the 
account of the Gowrie Conspii'acy, as given by King James, was 
true ; are obviously doubts to be decided before there can be 
formed any rational conclusions respecting the development of 
our political institutions. That Friedrich I. of Prussia quarrelled 
with his stepmother, suspected her of trying to poison him, fled 
to his aunt, and when he succeeded to the Electorate, intrigued and 
bribed to obtain his kingship ; that half-an-hour after his death 
his son Eriedrich Wilhelm gave his coui'tiers notice to quit, com- 
menced forthwith to economize his revenues, made it his great 
object to recruit and drill his army, and presently began to hate 
and bully his son — these, and facts hke these about all royal 
families in all ages, are facts without which civilization would 
obviously be incomprehensible. Nor can one dispense with full 
knowledge of events like those of I^apoleon's wars — his Itahau 
conquests and exactions, and perfidious treatment of Venice ; 
his expedition to Egypt, successes and massacres there, failure 
at Acre, and eventual retreat ; his various campaigns in Ger- 
many, Spain, Russia, &c., including accounts of his strategy, 
tactics, victories, defeats, slaughters ; for hoAv, in the absence of 
such information, is it possible to judge what institutions should 
be advocated, and what legislative changes should be opposed ? 

Still, after due attention has been paid to these indispensable 
matters, a little time might, perhaps, with advantage be devoted 
to the natural history of societies. Some guidance for pohtical 
conduct would possibly be reached by asking — "WTiat is the 


normal course of social evolution, and how will it be affected by 
this oi* that policy ? It may turn out that legislative action of 
no kind can be taken that is not either in agreement with, or at 
variance with, the processes of national growth and development 
as naturally going on ; and that its desirableness is to be judged 
by this ultimate standard rather than by proximate standards. 
Without claiming too much, we may at any rate expect that, if 
there does exist an order among those structural and functional 
changes which societies pass through, knowledge of that order 
can scarcely fail to aif ect our judgments as to what is progres- 
sive and what retrograde — what is desirable, what is practicable, 
what is Utopian. 

To those who think such an inquiry worthy to be pursued, will 
be addressed the chapters that are to follow. There are sundry 
considerations important to be dwelt upon, before commencing 
Sociology. To a clear idea of the nature of the science have to 
be added clear ideas of the conditions to successful study of it. 
These will henceforth occupy us. 



From the intrinsic natures of its facts, from our OTvn natures as 
observers of its facts, and from tlae peculiar relation in whicli we 
stand towards the facts to be observed, there arise impediments 
in the way of Sociology greater than those in the way of any 
other science. 

The phenomena to be generalized are not of a directly-per- 
ceptible kind — cannot be noted by telescope and clock, like those 
of Astronomy ; cannot be measured by dynamometer and ther- 
mometer, like those of Physics ; cannot be elucidated by scales 
and test-papers, like those of Chemistry ; are not to be got at by 
scalpel and microscope, like the less obvious biological pheno- 
mena ; nor are to be recognized by introspection, like the 
phenomena Psychology deals with. They have sevei*ally to 
be established by putting together many details, no one of 
which is simple, and which are dispersed, both in Space and 
Time, in ways that make them diflBcult of access. Hence the 
reason why even cardinal truths in Sociology, such as the division 
of labour, remain long unrecognized. That in advanced societies 
men follow different occupations, was indeed a generaUzation 
easy to make ; but that this form of social arrangement had 
neither been specially created, nor enacted by a king, but had 
grown up without forethought of any one, was a conclusion which 
could be reached only after many transactions of many kinds 
between men had been noted, remembered, and accounted for, 


and only after comparisons had been made between tbese trans- 
actions and those taking place between men in simpler societies 
and in earlier times. And when it is remembered that the data 
for the inference that labour becomes specialized, are far more 
accessible than the data for most other sociological inferences, 
it Vvill be seen how greatly the advance of Sociology is hindered 
by the nature of its subject-matter. 

The characters of men as observers, add to this first difficulty 
a second that is perhaps equally great. ^Necessarily men take 
with them into sociological inquiries, the modes of observation 
and reasoning which they have been accustomed to in other 
inquiries — those of them, at least, who make any inquiries worthy 
to be so called. Passing over the great majority of the educated, 
and Hmiting ourselves to the very few who consciously collect 
data, compare them, and deliberately draw conclusions ; we may 
see that even these have to struggle with the difficulty that the 
habits of thought generated by converse with relatively- simple 
phenomena, partially unfit them for converse with these highly- 
complex phenomena. Faculty of every kind tends always to 
adjust itself to its work. Special adjustment to one kind of work 
involves more or less non-adjustment to other kinds. And hence, 
intellects disciplined in dealing with less-involved classes of facts, 
cannot successfully deal with this most-involved class of facts 
without partially unlearning the methods they have learnt. 
From the emotional nature, too, there arise great obstacles. 
Scarcely any one can contemplate social arrangements and 
actions with the unconcern felt when contemplating arrange- 
ments and actions of other kinds. For correct observation and 
correct drawing of inferences, there needs the calmness that is 
ready to recognize or to infer one truth as readily as another. 
But it is nest to impossible thus to deal with the truths of 
Sociology. In the search for them, each is moved by feel- 
ings, more or less strong, which make him eager to find this 
evidence, oblivious of that which is at variance with it, reluctant 
to draw any conclusion but that already drawn. And though 


perhaps one in ten among tliose wlio think, is conscious that his 
judgment is being warped by prejudice, yet even in him the 
warp is not adequately allowed for. Doubtless in nearly every 
field of inquiry emotion is a perturbing intruder : mostly there 
'.s some preconception, and some amour propre that resists dis- 
proof of it. But a jDeculiarity of Sociology is, that the emotions 
with which its facts and conclusions are regarded, have unusual 
strength. The personal interests are directly affected ; or there 
is gratification or offence to sentiments that have gro-\vn out of 
them ; or else other sentiments which have relation to the exist- 
ing form of society, are excited, agreeably or disagreeably. 

And here we are introduced to the third kind of difiiciilty — 
that caused by the position occupied, in respect to the phenomena 
to be generalized. In no other case has the inquirer to investi- 
gate the properties of an aggregate in which he is himself 
included. His relation towards the facts he here studies, we may 
figure to ourselves by comparing it to the relation between a 
single cell forming part of a living body, and the facts which 
that living body presents as a whole. Speaking generally, the 
citizen's life is made possible only by due performance of his 
function in the place he fills ; and he cannot wholly free himself 
from the behefs and sentiments generated by the vital con- 
nexions hence arising between himself and his society. Here, 
then, is a difficulty to which no other science presents anything 
analogous. To cut himself off in thought from all his relation- 
ships of race, and country, and citizenship — to get rid of all those 
interests, prejudices, likings, superstitions, generated in him by 
the life of his own society and his own time — to look on all the 
changes societies have undergone and are undergoing, withoiit 
reference to nationaUty, or creed, or personal welfare ; is what 
the average man cannot do at all, and what the exceptional man 
can do very imperfectly. 

The difficulties of the Social Science, thus indicated in vague 
outline, have now to be described and illustrated in detail. 



Along with, miicli that lias of late years been done towards 
clianging primitive history into myth, and along withrtiuch that 
has been done towards changing once-unquestioned estimates of 
persons living in past ages, much has been said about the un- 
trustworthiness of historical evidence. Hence there will be ready 
acceptance of the statement that one of the impedim.ents to 
sociological generalization, is the uncertainty of our data. We 
find this uncertainty not alone in early stories, such as those 
about the Amazons, their practices, the particular battles with 
them, &c. ; which are recorded and sculptured as circumstantially 
as they might be were the persons and events historic. We 
find it even in accounts of a well-known people like the ISTew- 
Zealanders, who "by some . . . are said to be intelligent, cruel, 
and brave; by others weak, kindly, and cowardly."^ And on 
remembering that between these extremes we have to deal with 
an enormous accumulation of conflicting statements, we cannot 
but feel that tbe task of selecting valid evidence is in this case a 
more arduous one than in any other case. Passing over remote 
illustrations, let us take an immediate one. 

Last year advertisements announced the " Two-headed IN'ight- 
ingale," and the walls of London were placarded with a figure in 
which one pair of shoulders was shown to bear two heads looking 
the same way (I do not refer to the later placards, which partially 
differed from the earlier). To some, this descriptive name and 


answering diagram seemed sufficiently exact ; for in my hearing 
a lady, who had been to see this comjoound being, referred to the 
placards and handbills as giving a good representation. If we 
suppose this lady to have repeated in a letter that which I heard 
her say, and if we ask what would appear the character of the 
evidence to one who, some fifty years hence, had before him the 
advertisement, the representation, and the letter, we shall see 
that the alleged fact would be thought by him incontestable. 
Only if, after weary search through all the papers and periodicals 
of the time, he happened to come ujDon a certain number of the 
Lancet, would he discover that this combination was not that of 
two heads on one body, but that of two individuals united back 
to back, with heads facing opposite ways, and severally complete 
in all respects, except where the parts were so fused as to form a 
double pelvis, containing certain pelvic viscera common to the 
two. Seeing, then, that about facts so simple and so easily 
verifiable, where no obvious motive for misrepresentations exists, 
we cannot count on true representations, how shall we count 
on true representations of social facts, which, being so diffused 
and so complex, are so difficult to observe, and in respect to 
which the perceptions are so much perverted by interests, and 
prepossessions, and party-feelings ? 

In exemplifying this difficulty, I will limit myself to cases 
supplied by the life of our own time : leaving it to be inferred 
that if, in a comparatively calm and critical age, sociological 
evidence is vitiated by various influences, much more must there 
have been vitiation of such evidence in the past, when passions 
ran higher and credulity T^as greater. 

Those who have lately become conscious of certain facts ai"e 
apt to suppose those facts have lately arisen. After a changed 
state of mind has made us observant of occuiTcnces we were 
before indifferent to, there often results the belief that such 
occurrences are more common than they were. It happens so even 
with accidents and diseases. Having lamed himself, a man is 


surprised to find how many lame people there are ; and, becoming 
dyspeptic, he discovers that dyspepsia is much more frequent 
than he supposed when he was young. For a kindred reason he 
is prone to think that servants do not behave nearly so well as 
they did during his boyhood : not remembering that in Shakes- 
peare's day the service obtainable was similarly reprobated in 
comparison with " the constant service of the antique world." 
In like manner, now that he has sons to establish in life, he 
fancies that the difficulty of getting places is much greater than 
it used to be. 

As witnesses to social phenomena, men thus impressed by 
facts which did not before impress them, become perverters of 
evidence. Things they have suddenly recognized, they mistake 
for things that have suddenly come into existence ; and so are led 
to regard as a growing evil or good, that which is very lili:ely a 
diminishing evil or good. Take an example or two. 

In generations not long passed away, sobriety was the excep- 
tion rather than the rule : a man who had never been drunk was 
a rarity. Condiments were used to create thirst ; glasses were 
so shaped that they would not stand, but must be held till 
emptied ; and a man's worth was in part measiired by the number 
of bottles he could take in. After a reaction had already 
diminished the evil among the upper and middle ranks, there 
came an open recognition of the evil ; resulting in Temperance 
Societies, which did their share towards further diminishing it. 
Then came the Teetotal Societies, .more thorough- going in their 
views and more energetic in their acts, which have been makino* 
the evil still less. Such has been the effect of these causes, that 
for a long time past among the upper classes, the drinking which 
was once creditable has been thought a disgrace ; while among the 
lower classes it has greatly decreased, and come to be generally 
reprobated. Those, however, who, carrying on the agitations 
against it, have had their eyes more and more widely opened to 
the vice, assert or imply in their speeches and petitions that the 
vice is not only great bMt growing. Having in the course of a 


generation mucli mitigated it by tlaeir voluntary efforts, they now 
make themselves believe, and make others believe, that it is too 
gigantic to be dealt with otherwise than by repressive enact- 
ments — Maine-Laws and Permissive-Prohibitory Bills. And, if 
we are to be guided by a Select Committee which has just re- 
ported, fines and imprisonments for drunkenness must be made 
far more severe than now, and reformatories must be established 
in which inebriates shall be dealt with much as criminals are 
dealt with. 

Take, again, the case of education. Go back far enough, and 
you find nobles not only incapable of reading and wi-iting, but 
treating these accomplishments with contempt. Go back not 
quite so far, and you find, along with a slight encouragement by 
authority of such learning as referred to Theology, a positive 
discoui-agement of all other learning ;^ joined with the belief 
that only for the clergy is learning of any kind proper. Go back 
a much smaller distance, and you find in the highest classes 
inability to spell tolerably, joined with more or less of the feel- 
ing that good spelling was a pedantry improper for ladies — a 
feeling akin to that named by Shakespeare as shoAvn by those 
who counted it " a meanness to write fair." Down even to quite 
modern times, well-to-do farmers and others of their rank were 
by no means all of them able to read and write. Education, 
spreading thus slowly during so many centuries, has dui'ing the 
last century spread with comparative rapidity. Since Raikes 
commenced Sunday-schools in 1771 ; since Lancaster, the Quaker, 
in 1796 set up the first of the schools that afterwards went by 
his name ; since 1811, when the Church had to cease its opposi- 
tion and become a competitor in educating poor children ; the 
strides have been enormous. A degree of ignorance which had 
continued the rule during so many centuries, was made, in the 
course of half a century, the exception. And then in 1834, after 
this unobtrusive but speedy diffusion of knowledge, there came, 
alono- with a growing consciousness of the still-remaining de- 
ficiency, the system of State-subsidies ; which, beginning with 


£20,000, grew, in less than thirty years, to more than a million. 
Yet now, after this vast progress at an ever- increasing rate, there 
has come the outcry that the nation is perishing for lack of 
knowledge. Any one not knowing the past, and judging from 
the statements of those who have been urging on educational 
organizations, would suppose that strenuous efforts are impera- 
tive to save the people from some gulf of demoralization and 
crime into which ignorance is sweeping them. 

How testimonies respecting objective facts are thus perverted 
by the subjective states of the witnesses, and how we have to be 
ever on our guard against this cause of vitiation in sociological 
evidence, may indeed be inferred from the illusions that daily 
mislead men in their comparisons of past with present. Return- 
ing after many years to the place of his boyhood, and finding 
how insignificant are the buildings he remembered as so impos- 
ing, every one discovers that in this case it was not'that the past 
was so grand, but that his impressibility was so great and 
his power of criticism so small. He does not perceive, how- 
ever, that the like holds generally ; and that the apparent decline 
in various things is really due to the widening of his experiences 
and the growth of a judgment no longer so easily satisfied. 
Hence the mass of witnesses may be under the impression that 
there is going on a change just the reverse of that which is 
really going on ; as we see, for example, in the notion current in 
every age, that the size and strength of the race have been de- 
creasing, when, as proved by bones, by mummies, by armour, 
and by the experiences of travellers in contact with aboriginal 
races, they have been on the average increasing. 

Most testimony, then, on which we have to form ideas of 
sociological states, past and present, has to be discounted to meet 
this cause of error ; and the rate of discount has to be varied 
according to the epoch, and the subject, and the witness. 

Beyond this vitiation of sociological evidence by general sub- 
jective states of the witnesses, there are vitiations due to more 


special subjective states. Of these, the first to be noted are of 
the class which foregone conclusions produce. 

Extreme cases are furnished by fanatical agitators, such as 
members of the Anti-Tobacco Society ; in the account of whose 
late meeting we read that "statistics of heart-disease, of insanity, 
of paralysis, and the diminished bulk and stature of the popula- 
tion of both sexes proved, according to the Report, that these 
diseases were attributable to the use of tobacco." But without 
making much of instances so glaring as this, we may find abun- 
dant proof that evidence is in most cases unconsciously distorted 
by the pet theories of those who give it. 

Early in the history of our sanitary legislation, a leading officer 
of health, wishing to show the need for those measures he advo- 
cated, drew a comparison between the rate of mortality in some 
salubrious village (in Cumberland, I think it was) and the 
rate of mortality in London ; and then, pointing out the marked 
difference, alleged that this difference was due to "preventible 
causes " — to causes, that is, which good sanitary administration 
would exclude. Ignoring the fact that the carbonic acid exhaled 
by nearly three millions of people and by their fires, caused in 
the one case a vitiation of the air which in the other case did not 
exist — iffnoring the fact that most city-occupations are of neces- 
sity indoor, and many of them sedentary, while the occupations 
of village life are out-of-door and active — ignoring the fact that 
in many of the Londoners the activities are cerebral in a degree 
beyond that to which the constitution of the race is adapted, 
while in the villagers the activities are bodily, in a degree appro- 
priate to the constitution of the race ; he set down the whole 
difference in the death-rate to causes of the kind which laws and 
ofiicials might get rid of. 

A still more marked example of this effect of a cherished 
hypothesis in vitiating evidence, was once unconsciously yielded 
to me by another enthusiast for sanitary regulation. Producing 
his papers, he pointed out the great contrast between the number 
of dcnths per annum in the small town near London where he 


lived, and tlie number of deaths per annwin in a low district of 
London — Bermondsey, or Lambeth, or some region on the 
Surrey side. On this great contrast he triumphantly dilated, as 
proving how much could be done by good drainage, ventilation, 
&c. On the one hand, he passed over the fact that his suburban 
place was, in large measure, inhabited by a picked population — 
people of means, well fed and clothed, able to secure all appliances 
for comfort, leading regular lives, free from over-work and 
anxiety. On the other hand, he passed over the fact that this low 
region of London was, by virtue of its lowness, one out of which 
all citizens pecuniarily able to take care of themselves escaped if 
they could, and into which were thrust great numbers whose 
poverty excluded them from better regions — the ill-fed, the 
drunken, the dissolute, and others on the highway to death. 
Though, in the first case, the healthiness of the locality obviously 
drew to it an excess of persons otherwise likely to live long ; and 
though, in the second case, the unhealthiness of the locality 
made it one in which an excess of those not likely to live long 
were left to dwell, or hid themselves to die ; yet the whole differ- 
ence was put down to direct effects of pure air and impure air 

Statements proceeding from witnesses whose judgments are 
thus warped — statements republished by careless sub-editors, and 
readily accepted by the uncritical who believe all they see in 
print, diffuse erroneous prepossessions ; which, again, tend to 
justify themselves by drawing the attention to confirmatory facts 
and away from facts that are adverse. Throughout all past time 
vitiations of evidence by influences of this nature have been 
going on in degrees varying with each people and each age •, 
and hence arises an additional obstacle to the obtainment of fit 

Yet another, and perhaps stronger, distorting influence exist. 
ing in the medium through which facts reach us, results from 
the self-seeking, pecuniary or other, of those who testify. "We 


require constantly to bear in mind tliat personal interests afFect 
most of the statements on wtich sociological conclusions are 
based, and on which legislation proceeds. 

Everyone knows this to be so where the evidence concerns 
mercantile affairs. That railway-enterprise, at first prompted by 
pressing needs for communication, presently came to be prompted 
by speculators, professional and financial ; and that the estimates 
of cost, of traffic, of profits, &c., set forth in prospectuses were 
grossly misleading ; many readers have been taught by bitter 
experience. That the gains secured by schemers who float com- 
panies have fostered an organized system which has made falsi- 
fication of data a business, and which, in the case of bubble 
Insurance Companies, has been worked so methodically that it 
has become the function of a journal to expose the frauds con- 
tinually repeated, are also familiar facts : reminding us how, in 
these directions, it is needful to look very sceptically on the alle- 
gations put before us. But there is not so distinct a conscious- 
ness that in other than business-enterprises, self-seeking is an 
active cause of misrepresentation. 

Like the getting-up of companies, the getting-up of agitations 
and of societies is, to a considerable extent, a means of advance- 
ment. As in the United States politics has become a profession, 
into which a man enters to get an income, so here there has 
grown up, thoiigh happily to a smaller extent, a professional 
philanthropy, pursued with a view to position, or to profit, or to 
both. Much as the young clergyman in want of a benefice, 
feeling deeply the spiritual destitution of a suburb that has 
grown beyond churches, busies himself in raising funds to build 
a church, and probably does not, duiing his canvass, understate 
the evils to be remedied ; so every here and there an educated 
man with plenty of leisure and small income, greatly impressed 
with some social evil to be remedied or benefit to be achieved, 
makes himself the nucleus to an institution, or the spur to a 
movement. And since his success depends mainly on the strength 
of the case he makes out, it is not to be expected that the evils 


to be dealt with, will be faintly pictured, or that he will insist 
very strongly upon facts adverse to his plan. As I can person- 
ally testify, there are those who, having been active in getting 
up schemes for alleged beneficial public ends, consider them- 
selves aggrieved when not afterwards appointed salaried officials. 
The recent exposure of the " Free Dormitory Association," which, 
as stated at a meeting of the Charityr Organization Society, was 
but one of a class, shows what this process may end in. And 
the vitiation of evidence is an inevitable concomitant. One whom 
I have known during his thirty years' experience of Leagues, 
Alhances, Unions, &c., for various purposes, writes : — " Like 
reKgious bodies, they [Associations] form creeds, and every ad- 
herent is expected to cry up the shibboleth of his party. . . . All 
facts are distorted to the aid of their own views, and such as 
cannot be distorted are suppressed." " In every association 
with which I have had any connection, this fraud has been 

The like holds in political agitations. Unfortunately, agencies 
estabhshed to get remedies for crying evils, are liable to become 
agencies maintained and worked in a considerable degree, and 
sometimes chiefly, for the benefit of those who reap incomes from 
them. An amusing instance of this was furnished, not many 
years ago, to a Member of Parliament who took an active part 
in advocating a certain radical measui'e which had for some years 
been making way, and which then seemed not unlikely to be 
carried. Being a member of the Association that had pushed 
forward this measure, he happened to step into its offices just 
before a debate which was expected to end in a majority for the 
bill, and he found the secretary and his subs in a state of conster- 
nation at the prospect of their success : feeling, as they obviously 
did, that their occupation was in danger. 

Clearly, then, where personal interests come into play, there 
must be, even in men intending to be truthful, a great readiness 
to see the facts which it is convenient to see, and such reluctance 
to see opposite facts as will prevent much activity in seeking for 

6 2 


them. Hence, a large discount has mostly to be made from the 
evidence furnished by institutions and societies in justification of 
the policies they pursue or advocate. And since much of the 
evidence respecting both past and present social phenomena 
comes to us through agencies calculated thus to pervert it, there 
is here a further impediment to clear vision of facts. 

That the reader may fully appreciate the difficulties Tvhich 
these distorting influences, when combined, put in the -svay of 
getting good materials for generalization, let him contemplate a 

All who are acquainted with such matters know that up to 
some ten years since, it was habitually asserted by lecturers when 
addressing students, and by writers in medical journals, that in 
our day, syphilis is a far less serious evil than it was in days gone 
by. Until quite recently this was a commonplace statement, 
called in question by no one in the profession. But just as, 
whUe a decrease of drunkenness has been going on, Temperance- 
fanatics have raised an increasing outcry for strenuous measures 
to put down drunkenness ; so, while venereal disease has been 
diminishing in frequency and severity, certain instrumentalities 
and agencies have created a belief that rigorous measures are 
requii-ed to check its progress. This incongruity would by itself 
be a sufficient proof of the extent to which, on the one side or 
the other, evidence must have been vitiated. What, then, shall 
we say of the incongruity on finding that the first of these state- 
ments has recently been repeated by many of the highest medical 
authorities, as one vei'ified by theii- experience ? Here are some 
of their testimonies. 

The Chairman of the late Grovernment Commission for inquir- 
ing into the treatment and prevention of syphilis, Mr. Skey, 
Consulting Surgeon to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, gave evidence 
before a House of Lords' Conmaittee. Referring to an article 
expressing the views of the Association for promoting the exten- 
sion of the Contagious Diseases Acts, he said it wa^S — 


" largelj- overcliarged," and " coloured too liiglily." " The disease is bj 
no means so common or universal, I may say, as is represented in that 
article, . . . and I have had an opportunity since I had the 
smnmons to appear here to-day of communicating with several leading 
members in the profession at the College of Surgeons, and we are all of 
the same opinion, that the e^Tl is not so large by any means as it Ls repre- 
sented by the association." 

Mr. John Simon, F.E.S., for thirty-five years a hospital sur- 
geon, and now Medical Officer to the Privy Council, writes in 
his official capacity — 

" I have not the least disposition to deny that venereal affections 
constitute a real and great evil for the community ; though I suspect 
that very exaggerated opinions are current as to their diffusion and 

By the late Prof. Syme it was asserted that — 

" It is now fully ascertained that the poison of the present day (true 
s}-philis) does not give rise to the dreadful consequences which have 
been mentioned, when treated without mercury. . . . None of the 
serious effects that used to be so much dreaded ever appear, and even the 
tri\aal ones just noticed comparatively seldom present themselves. We 
must, therefore, conclude either that the virulence of the poison is 
worn out, or that the effects formerly attributed to it depended on treat- 
ment." 3 

The British and Foreign Medico-GMnt/rgical Heview, which 
stands far higher than any other medical journal, and is friendly 
to the Acts as applied to military and naval stations, writes 
thus : — 

" The majority of those who have undergone the disease, thus far 
[including secondary manifestations] live as long as they could otherwise 
have expected to live, and die of diseases with which syphilis has no more 
to do than the man in the moon." * . . . " Surely 455 persons suffer- 
ing from true syphilis in one form or another, in a poor population of a 
million and a half [less than 1 in 3000] . . . cannot be held to be 
a proportion so large as to call for exceptional action on the part of any 
Goverimient." ' 


Mr. Holmes Coote, F.R.C.S., Surgeon and Lecturer on Sur- 
gery at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, says — 

" It is a lamentable truth that the troubles which respectable hard- 
working nianicd women of the working class undergo are more trying to 
the health, and detrimental to the looks, than any of the irregularities of 
the harlot's career." 

Again, it is stated by Mr. Byrne, Surgeon to the Dublin Lock 
Hospital, that " there is not nearly so much syphilis as there 
used to be ; " and, after describing some of the serious results 
that were once common, he adds : — " Ton will not see such a 
case for years — a fact that no medical man can have failed to 
remark." Mr. W. Burns Thompson, F.R.C.S., for ten years 
head of the Edinburgh Dispensary, testifies as follows : — 

" I have had good opportunities of knowing the prevailing diseases, and 
I can only say that the representations given by the advocates of these 
Acts are to me perfectly unintelligible ; they seem to me to be gross 

Mr. Surgeon-Major Wyatt, of the Coldstream Guards, when 
examined by the Lords' Committee, stated that he quite con- 
curred with Mr. Skey. Answering question 700, he said : — 

" The class of syphilitic diseases which we see are of a very mild 
character ; and, in fact, none of the ravages which used formerly to be 
committed on the appearance and aspect of the men are now to be seen. 
. . . It is an undoubted fact that in this country and in France the 
character of the disease is much diminished in intensity. — Question 708 : 
I understand you to say, that in your opinion the venereal disease has 
generally, independent of the Act, become more mitigated, and of a milder 
type? Ansiver: Yes ; that is the experience of all surgeons, both ci-\al 
and military." 

Dr. Dr, uittPresident of the Association of the Medical Officers 
of Health for London, affirmed at one of its meetings — 
" that, speaking from tbirty-nine years' experience, he was m a position 
to say that cases of syphilis in London were rare among the middle and 
better classes, and soon got over." 

Even Mr. Acton, a specialist to whom more than to any 


other man tlae Acts are due, admitted "before tlie Lords' Com- 
mittee that " the disease is milder than it was formerly." 

And then, most important of all, is the testimony of Mr. 
Jonat!ian Hutchinson, who is recognized as the highest authority 
on inherited syphilis, and to whose discoveries, indeed, the iden- 
tifications of syphilitic taint are mainly due. Though thus 
under a natural bias rather to over-estimate than under- estimate 
the amount of inherited syphiHs, Mr. Hutchinson, while editor 
of the British Medical Journal, wrote : — 

" Although there is an impression to the contrary, yet recent dis- 
coveries and more accurate investigations, so far from extending the 
domain of syphilis as a cause of chronic disease, have decidedly tended 
to Hmit it ... . although we have admitted as positively syphiHtic 
certaia maladies of a definite kind not formerly reco'gnized, we have 
excluded a far larger number which were once under suspicion. . . .\ 
We can identify now the subject of severe hereditary taint by his teeth 
and physiognomy ; but those who believe most firmly in the value of 
these signs, believe also that they are not displayed by one in five thousand 
of our population. ® 

Like testimony is given by continental surgeons, among whom 
it was long ago said by Ambrose Par6, that the disease " is evi- 
dently becoming milder every day ; " and loy Auzias Turenne, 
that " it is on the wane all over Europe." Astruc and Diday 
concur in this statement. And the latest authority on syphilis, 
Lancereau:s;, whose work is so highly valued that it has been 
translated by the Sydenham Society, asserts that : — 

" In these cases, which are far from being rare, syphdis is but an 
abortive disease ; sKght and benignant, it does not leave behind any 
troublesome trace of its passage. It is impossible to lay too much stress 
upon this point. At the present day especially, when syjihilis still 
inspires exaggerated fears, it should be known that this disease becomes 
dissipated completely in a great number of cases after the cessation of 
the cutaneous eruptions, and perhaps sometimes even with the primary 
lesion." ^ 

It will, perhaps, be remarked that these testimonies of medical 
men who, by their generally high position, or their lengthened 


experience, or their special experience, are so "well qualified to 
judge, are selected testimonies^ and against them "will be set 
the testimonies of Sir James Paget, Sir "W, Jenner, and Mr. 
Prescott Hewett, who regard the evil as a very grave one. 
Possibly there will be quoted in reply an authoritative State- 
document, which, referring to the views of the three gentle- 
men just named as having "the emphatic concurrence of 
numerous practitioners," says that they " are hardly answered 
by a few isolated opinions that the evil has been exaggerated " — 
a somewhat inadequate description of the above-quoted testi- 
monies, considering not only the general weight of the names, 
but also the weight of sundry of them as those of speciaHsts. 
To gath'er accurately the consensus of medical opinion would be 
imjDKXcticable without polling the whole body of physicians and 
surgeons ; but we have a means of judging which view most 
truly meets with " the emphatic concurrence of numerous pi-ac- 
titioners " : that, namely, of taking a local group of medical 
men. Out of fi^ty-eight physicians and surgeons residing in 
Nottingham and its suburbs, fifty-four have put their signatures 
to a public statement that syphilis is " very much diminished in 
frequency, and so much milder in form that we can scarcely 
recognize it as the disease described by our forefathers." And 
among these are the medical men occupying nearly all the official 
medical positions in the town — Senior Physician to the Geneial 
Hospital, Honorary Surgeon ditto, Surgeons to the Jail, to the 
General Dispensary, to the Free Hospital, to the Union Hospital, 
to the Lock Hospital (four in number). Medical Officers to the 
Board of Health, to the Union, to the County Asylum, &c., &c. 
Even while I write there comes to me kindred evidence in the 
shape of a letter published in the British Medical Journal for 
20th July, 1872, by Dr. Carter, Honorary Physician to the 
Liverpool Southern Hospital, who states that, after several 
debates at the Liverpool Medical Institution, " a form of petition 
strongly condemnatory of the Acts was written out by myself, 
and .... in a few days one hundred and eight signatures [of 


medical men] were obtained." Meanwhile, lie adds, "earnest 
efforts were being made loj a mimber of gentlemen to procure 
medical signatures to tlie petition in favour of the Acts known 
as the 'London Memorial,' — efforts which resulted in twenty- 
nine signatures only." 

Yet notwithstanding this testimony, great in quantity and 
much of it of the highest quality, it has been possible so to pre- 
sent the evidence as to produce in the public mind, and in the 
Legislature, the impression that peremjotory measures for deahng 
with a spreading pest are indispensable. As lately writes a 
Member of ParHament, — " We were assured, on what appeared 
unexceptionable testimony, that a terrible constitutional disease 
was undermining the health and vigour of the nation, and 
especially destroying innocent women and children." 

And then note the startling circumstance that while so 
erroneous a conception of the facts may be spread abroad, there 
may, by the consequent alarm, be produced a blindness to facts 
of the most unquestionable kind, established by the ever-accu- 
mulating experiences of successive generations. Until quite 
recently, our forms of judicial procedure embodied the principle 
that some overt injury must be committed before legal instru- 
mentahties can be brought into play ; and conformity to this 
principle was in past times gradually brought about by efforts to 
avoid the terrific evils that otherwise arose. As a Professor of 
Jurisprudence reminds us, "the object of the whole compHcated 
system of checks and guards provided by English law, and 
secured by a long train of constitutional conflicts, has been to 
prevent an innocent man being even momentarily treated as a 
thief, a murderer, or other criminal, on the mere alleged or real 
suspicion of a policeman." Yet now, in the state of groundless 
fi-ight that has been got up, " the concern hitherto exhibited by 
the Legislature for the personal liberty of the meanest citizen has 
been needlessly and recklessly lost sight of ." ^ It is an d, priori in- 
ference from human nature that irresponsible power is sure, on 
the average of cases, to be grossly abused. The histories of all 


nations, fhrougli all times, teem with proofs that irresponsible 
power has been grossly abused. The growth of representative 
governments is the growth of arrangements made to prevent 
the gi'oss abuse of irresponsible power. Each of our political 
struggles, ending in a further development of free institutions, 
has been made to put an end to some particular gross abuse of 
iiTesponsible power. Yet the facts thrust upon us by our daily 
experiences of men, verifying the experiences of the whole 
human race throughout the past, are now tacitly denied ; and it 
is tacitly asserted that irresponsible power will not be grossly 
abused. And all because of a manufactured panic about a 
decreasing disease, which kills not one-fifteenth of the number 
killed by scarlet fever, and which takes ten years to destroy as 
many as diarrhoea destroys in one year. 

See, then, what we have to guard against in collecting socio- 
logical data — even data concerning the present, and, still more, 
data concerning the past. For testimonies that come d_own to 
us respecting bygone social states, political, religious, judicial, 
physical, moral, &c., and respecting the actions of particular 
causes on those social states, have been liable to perversions 
not simply as gi'eat, but greater ; since while the regard for 
truth was less, there was more readiness to accept unproved 

Even where deliberate measures are taken to obtain valid 
e^T-dence on any political or social question raised, by summon- 
ing witnesses of all classes and interests, there is difficulty in 
getting at the truth ; because the circumstances of the inquiry 
tend of themselves to bring into sight some kinds of evidence, 
and to keep out of sight other kinds. In illustration may be 
quoted the follo-R-ing statement of Lord Lincoln on making his 
motion concerning the enclosui'cs of commons : — 

" This I loiow, that in nineteen cases out of twenty, committees 
sitting in this House on private bills neglected the riglits of the poor. 
I do not say that they wilfully neglected those rights — far from it ; 



but this I affirm, tliat tliey were neglected in consequence of the 
committees being permitted to remain in ignorance of the rights of 
the poor man, because by reason of his very poverty he is unable to 
come up to London to fee counsel, to procure witnesses, and to urge 
his claims before a committee of this House." — Hansard, 1 May, 

Many influences of a different order, but similarly tending to 
exclude particular classes of facts pertinent to an inquiry, come 
into play. Given a question at issue, and it will very probably 
happen that vpitnesses on the one side may, by evidence of a 
certain nature, endanger a system on which they depend for the 
whole or for part of their livelihood ; and by evidence of an 
opposite nature may preserve it. By one kind of testimony they 
may offend their superiors and risk their promotion : doing the 
reverse by another kind. Moreover, witnesses not thus directly 
interested are liable to be indirectly swayed by the thought that 
to name certain facts they know will bring on them the ill-will 
of important persons in their locality — a serious consideration in 
a provincial town. And while such influences strongly tend 
to bring out evidence, say in support of some estabhshed 
organization, there may very possibly, and, indeed, very pro- 
bably, be no organized adverse interest with abundant resources 
which busies itself to bring out a contrary class of facts — no 
occupation in danger, no promotion to be had, no applause to be 
gained, no odium to be escaped. The reverse may happen : 
there may be positive sacrifices serious in amount to be 
made before such contrary class of facts can be brought to 
light. And thus it may result that, perfectly open and fair 
as the inquiry seems, the circumstances will insure a one-sided 
representation . 

A familiar optical illusion well illustrates the nature of these 
illusions which often deceive sociological inquirers. When 
standing by a lake-side in the moonHght, you see stretching 
over the rippled surface towards the moon, a bar of light which, 
as shown by its nearer part, consists of flashes from the sides of 


separate wavelets. You walk, and the bar of light seems to go 
"v\ath you. There are, even among the educated classes, many 
who suppose that this bar of light has an objective existence, 
and who believe that it really moves as the observer moves — 
occasionally, indeed, as I can testify, expressing surprise at the 
fact. But, apart from the observer there exists no such bar of 
light ; nor when the observer moves is there any movement of 
this Hne of ghttering wavelets. All over the dark part of the 
surface the undulations are just as bright with moonlight as 
those he sees ; but the light reflected from them does not reach 
his eyes. Thus, though there seems to be a Hghting of some 
wavelets and not of the rest, and though, as the observer movies, 
other wavelets seem to become lighted that were not lighted 
before, yet both these are utterly false seemings. The simple 
fact is, that his position in relation to certain wavelets brings 
into view their reflections of the moon's light, while it keeps out 
of view the like reflections fi'om all other wavelets. 

Sociological evidence is largely vitiated by illusions thus 
caused. Habitually the relations of observers to the facts are 
such as make visible the special, and exceptional, and sensational, 
and leave invisible the common-place and uninteresting, which 
form the great body of the facts. And this, which is a general 
cause of deceptive appearances, is variously aided by those more 
special causes above indicated ; which conspire to make the 
media through which the facts are seen, transparent in respect 
of some and opaque in respect of others. 

Again, very serious perversions of evidence result from the 
unconscious confounding of observation with inference. Every- 
where, a fertile source of error is the putting down as something 
perceived what is really a conclusion drawn from something per- 
ceived ; and this is a more than usually fertile source of error in 
Sociology. Here is an instance. 

A few years ago Dr. Stark published the results of com- 
parisons he had made between the rates of mortahty among the 


married and among tlie celibate : stowing, as it seemed, the 
greater healthfulness of married life. Some criticisms made on 
his argument did not seriously shake it ; and he has been since 
referred to as having conclusively proved the alleged relation. 
More recently I have seen quoted from the Medical Press and 
Circular, the following summary of results supposed to tell the 
same tale : — 

" M. Bertillon has made a communication on this sixbject (' The 
Influence of Marriage ') to the Brussels Academy of I\Iedicme, which has 
been published in the Revue Scientifique. From 25 to 30 years of age the 
mortaHty per 1000 in France amounts to 6-2 in married men, 10-2 in 
bachelors, and 21 '8 in widows. In Brussels the mortality of married 
women is 9 per 1000, girls the same, and widows as high as 16'9. In 
Belgium from 7 per 1000 among married men, the number rises to 
8*5 in bachelors, and 24*6 in widows. The proportion is the same in 
Holland. From 8'2 in manled men, it rises to 11 "7 in bachelors, and 
16 '9 in widowers, or 12 '8 among married women, 8"5 m spinsters, and 
13'8 in widows. The result of all the calcidations is that from 25 to 30 
years of age the mortality per 1000 is 4 in married men, 10*4 in 
bachelors, and 22 in widows. This beneficial influence of marriage ia 
manifested at all ages, being always more strongly marked in men than 
in women." 

I will not dwell on the fallacy of the above conclusions as re- 
ferring to the relative mortality of widows — a fallacy sufficiently 
obvious to any one who thinks awhile. I will confine myself to 
the less-conspicuous fallacy in the comparison between the 
taortahties of married and ceHbate, fallen into by M. Bertillon 
as well as by Dr. Stark. Clearly as their figures seem to furnish 
proof of some direct causal relation between marriage and 
longevity, they really furnish no proof whatever. There may 
be such a relation ; but the evidence assigned forms no warrant 
for inferring it. 

We have but to consider the circumstances which in many cases 
determine marriage, and those which in other cases prevent 
marriage, to see that the connexion which the figures apparently 
imply is not the real connexion. Where attachments exist 


what most frequently decides the question for or against marriage? 
The possession of adequate means. Though some improvidentlj 
marry without means, yet it is undeniable that in many instances 
marriage is delayed by the man, or forbidden by the parents, or 
not assented to by the woman, until there is reasonable evidence 
of ability to meet the responsibilities. Now of men whose 
marriages depend on getting the needful incomes, which are the 
most likely to get the needful incomes ? The best, physically 
and mentally — the strong, the intellectually capable, the morally 
well-balanced. Often bodily vigour achieves a success, and 
therefore a revenue, which bodily weakness, unable to bear the 
stress of competition, cannot achieve. Often superior intelli- 
gence brings promotion and increase of salary, while stupidity 
lags behind in ill-paid posts. Often caution, self-control, and 
a far-seeing sacrifice of present to future, secure remunei'ative 
offices that are never given to the impulsive or the reckless. But 
what are the effects of bodily vigour, of intelligence, of prudence, 
on longevity ; when compared with the effects of feebleness, of 
stupidity, of deficient self-control ? Obviously, the first further 
the maintenance of life, and the second tend towards premature 
death. That is, the qualities which, on the average of cases, give 
a man an advantage in gaining the means of marrying, are the 
qualities which make him hkely to be a long-hver ; and 

There is even a more direct relation of the same general natxu'c. 
In all creatures of high type, it is only when individual growth 
and development are nearly complete, that the production of new 
individuals becomes possible ; and the power of producingand bring- 
ing up new individuals, is measured by the amount of vital power 
in excess of that needful for self -maintenance. The reproductive 
instincts, and all their accompanying emotions, become dominant 
when the demands for individual evolution are diminishing, and 
there is arising a surplus of energy which makes possible the 
rearing of offspring as well as the preservation of self; and, 
speaking generally, these instincts and emotions are strong in 



proportion as tliis surplus vital energy is great. But to have a 
large surplus of vital energy implies a good organization — an 
organization likely to last long. So that, in fact, the superiority 
of physique -which is accompanied by strength of the instincts' 
and emotions causing marriage, is a superiority of physique also 
conducive to longevity. 

One further influence tells in the same direction. Marriage 
is not altogether determined by the desires of men ; it is de- 
termined in part by the preferences of women. Other things 
equal, women are attracted towards men of power — physical, 
emotional, intellectual ; and obviously their freedom of choice 
leads them in many cases to refuse inferior samples of men : 
especially the malformed, the diseased, and those who are ill- 
developed, physically and mentally. So that, in so far as marriage 
is determined by female selection, the average result on men is 
that while the best easily get wives, a certain proportion of the 
worst are left without wives. This influence, therefore, joins in 
bringing into the ranks of married men those most likely to be 
long-lived, and keeping in bachelorhood those least likely to be 

In three ways, then, does that superiority of organization which 
conduces to long life, also conduce to marriage. It is normally 
accompanied by a predominance of the instincts and emotions 
prompting marriage ; there goes along with it that power which 
:;an- secure the means of making marriage practicable ; and it 
increases the probability of success in courtship. The figures 
given aiford no proof that marriage and longevity are cause and 
consequence ; but they simply verify the inference which might 
be drawn cl priori, that marriage and longevity are concomitant 
results of the sarae cause. 

This striking instance of the way in which inference may be 
mistaken for fact, will serve as a warning against another of the 
dangers that await us in dealing with sociological data. Sta- 
tistics having shown that married men live longer than single 
men, it seems an irresistible implication that married life is 


healthier than single life. And yet we see that the implication 
is not at all ii'resistible : though snch a connexion may exist, it 
is not demonstrated hy the evidence assigned. Judge, then, how 
diflScult it must be, among social phenomena, that hare more 
entangled dependencies, to distinguish between the seeming 
relations and the real relations. 

Once more, we are liable to be led away by superficial, trivial 
facts, from the deep-seated and really-important facts they 
indicate. Always the details of social life, the interesting events, 
the curious things which serve for gossip, will, if we allow them, 
hide from us the vital connexions and the vital actions under- 
neath. Every social phenomenon results from an immense 
aggregate of general and special causes ; and we may either 
take the phenomenon itself as intrinsically momentous, or may 
take it along with other phenomena, as indicating some incon- 
spicuous truth of real significance. Let us contrast the two 

Some months ago a correspondent of the Times, writing from 
Calcutta, said : — 

" The Calcutta University examinations of any year woidd supply 
curious material for reflection on the value of our educational systems. 
The prose test in the entrance examination tliis year includes Ivanhoe. 
Here are a few of the answers which I have picked up. The spelluig is 
bad, but that I have not cared to give : — 

"Question: — 'Dapper man?' (Answer 1.) 'Man of superfluous 
knowledge.' (A. 2.) 'Mad.' (Q.) 'Democrat?' (A. 1.) 'Petti- 
coat Government.' (A. 2.) ' Witchcraft.' (A. 3.) ' Half turning of 
the horse.' (Q.) 'Babylonish jargon? ' (A. 1.) 'A vessel made at 
Babylon.' (A. 2.) 'A kind of diink made at Jerusalem.' (A. 3.) 
' A kind of coat worn by Babylonians.' (Q.) ' Lay brother ? ' (A. 1.) 
'A bishop.' (A. 2.) 'A step-brother.' (A. 3.) 'A scholar of the 
same godfather.' (Q.) ' Sumpter mide?' (A.) 'A stubborn Jew.' 
(Q.) 'Bilious-looking fellow?' (A. 1.) 'A man of strict character.' 
(A. 2.) 'A person having a nose like the bill of an eagle.' (Q.) 
'Cloister?' (A.) ' A kind of shell.' (Q.) ' Tavern politicians ? ' 
(A. 1.) ' Politicians in charge of the alehoiise.' (A. 2.) ' Mere vulgars.' 


(A. 3.) * Managers of the priestly chiu'ch.' (Q.) ' A pair of cast-off galli- 
gaskins ? ' (A.) ' Two gallons of wine.' 

The fact here drawn attention to as significant, is, that these 
Hindu youths, during their matriculation examination, betrayed 
so much ignorance of the meaning of words and expressions 
contained in an English work they had read. And the intended 
implication appears to be that they were proved unfit to begin 
their college careers. If, now, instead of accepting that which 
is presented to us, we look a little below it, that which may 
strike us is the amazing folly of an examiner who proposes to 
test the fitness of youths for commencing their higher education, 
by seeing how much they know of the technical terms, cant- 
phrases, slang, and even extinct slang, talked by the people of 
another nation. Instead of the unfitness of the boys, which is 
pointed out to us, we may see rather the unfitness of those con- 
cerned in educating them. 

If, again, not dwelling un the particular fact underlying the 
one offered to our notice, we consider it along with others of the 
same class, our attention is arrested by the general fact that 
examiners, and especially those appointed under recent systems 
of administi'ation, habitually put questions of which a large pro- 
portion are utterly inappropriate. As I learn from his son, one 
of our judges not long since found himself unable to answer an 
examination-paper that had been laid before law-students. A 
well-known Greek scholar, editor of a Greek play, who was ap- 
pointed examiner, found that the examination-paper set by his 
predecessor was too difficult for him. Mr. Froude, in his in- 
augural address at St. Andrews, describing a paper set by an 
examiner in English history, said, " I cotdd myself have answered 
two questions out of a dozen." And I learn from Mr. G. H. Lewes 
that he could not give replies to the questions on English litera- 
ture which the Civil Service examiners had put to his son. 
Joining which testimonies wdth kindred ones coming from 
students and professors on all sides, we find the really-noteworthy 


tiling to be that examiners, instead of setting questions fit for 
students, set questions which make manifest their own extensive 
learning. Especially if they are young, and have reputations to 
make or to justify, they seize the occasion for displaying their 
erudition, regardless of the interests of those they examine. 

If we look through this more significant and general fact for 
the still deeper fact it grows out of, there arises before us the 
question — "Who examines the examiners ? How happens it that 
men competent in their special knowledge, but so incompetent in 
their general judgment, should occupy the places they do ? 
This prevailing faultiness of the examiners shows conclusively 
that the administration is faulty at its centre. Somewhere or 
other, the power of ultimate decision is exercised by those who 
are unfit to exercise it. If the examiners of the examinei's were 
set to fill up an examination-paper which had for its subject 
the right conduct of examinations, and the proper qualifica- 
tions for examiners, there would come out very unsatisfactory 

Having seen through the small details and the wider facts 
down to these deeper facts, we may, on contemplating them, 
perceive that these, too, are not the deepest or most significant. 
It becomes clear that those having supreme authority suppose, as 
men in general do, that the sole essential thing for a teacher or 
examiner is complete knowledge of that which he has to teach, 
or respecting which he has to examine. "Whereas a co-essential 
thing is a knowledge of Psychology ; and especially that part of 
Psychology which deals with the evolution of the faculties. 
Unless, either by special study or by daily observation and quick 
insight, he has gained an approximately-true conception of how 
minds perceive, and reflect, and generalize, and by what pro- 
cesses their ideas grow from concrete to abstract, and from 
simple to complex, no one is competent to give lessons that will 
effectually teach, or to ask questions which will effectually 
measure the efficiency of teaching. Further, it becomes 

manifest that, in common with the public, those in authority 


assume tliat the goodness of education is to be tested by the 
quantity of knowledge acquired. Whereas it is to be much more 
truly tested by the capacity for using knowledge — ^by the extent 
to which the knowledge gained has been turned into faculty, so 
as to be available both for the purposes of life and for the pur- 
poses of independent investigation. Though there is a growing 
consciousness that a mass of unorganized information is, after 
all, of little value, and that there is more value in less informa- 
tion well-organized, yet the significant truth is that this con- 
sciousness has not got itself officially embodied ; and that our 
educational administration is workino:, and will long continue to 
work, in pursuance of a crude and out- worn belief. 

As here, then, so in other cases meeting us in the present and 
all through the past, we have to contend with the difficulty that 
the greater part of the evidence supphed to us as of chief interest 
and importance, is of value only for what it indicates. We have 
to resist the temptation to dwell on those triviahties which make 
up nine-tenths of our records and histories ; and which are 
worthy of attention solely because of the things they indirectly 
imply or the things tacitly asserted along with them. 

Beyond those vitiations of evidence due to random observa- 
tions, to the subjective states of the observers, to their enthu- 
siasms, or prepossessions, or self-interests — beyond those arising 
from the general tendency to set down as a fact observed 
what is really an inference from an observation, and also 
those arising from the general tendency to omit the dissection 
by which small surface results are traced to large interior 
causes ; there come those vitiations of evidence consequent 
on its distribution in Space. Of whatever class, pohtical, 
moral, rehgious, commercial, &c., may be the phenomena we 
have to consider, a society presents them in so diffused and 
multitudinous a way, and under such various relations to us, 
that the conceptions we can frame are at best extremely inade- 

H 2 


Consider how impossible it is truly to conceive so relatively- 
simple a thing as the territory which a society covers. Even by 
the aid of maps, geographical and geological, slowly elaboi'ated by 
multitudes of surveyors — even by the aid of descriptions of towns, 
counties, mountainous and rural districts — even by the aid of such 
Dersonal examinations as we have made here and there in journeys 
iuring life ; we can reach nothing approaching to a true idea of the 
actual surface — arable, grass-covered, wooded ; flat, undulating, 
rocky ; drained by rills, brooks, and slow rivers ; sprinkled with 
cottages, farms, villas, cities. Imagination simply rambles hither 
and thither, and fails utterly to frame an adequate thought of 
the whole. How then shall we frame an adequate thought of a 
diffused moral feehng, of an intellectual state, of a commercial 
activity, pervading this territory ; unaided by maps, and aided 
only by the careless statements of careless observers ? Respect- 
ing most of the phenomena, as displayed by a nation at large, 
only dim apprehensions are possible ; and how untrustworthy 
they are, is shown by every parliamentary debate, by every day's 
newspapers, and by every evening's conversations ; which seve- 
rally disclose quite conflicting estimates. 

See how various are the statements made respecting any 
nation in its character and actions by each traveller visiting it. 
There is a story, apt if not true, of a Frenchman who, having 
been three weeks here, proposed to write a book on England ; 
who, after three months, found that he was not quite ready ; and 
who, after three years, concluded that he knew nothing about it. 
And every one who looks back and compares his early impres- 
sions respecting states of things in his own society with the 
impressions he now has, wiU see how erroneous were the behefs 
once so decided, and how probable \t is that even his revised 
beliefs are but partially true. On remembering how wrong he 
was in his pre-conceptions of the people and the life in some un- 
visitcd part of the kingdom — on remembering how different 
fi'om those he had imagined, were the characters he actually 
found in certain alien classes and along with certain ahen creeds ; 


lie Tvill see hovr greatly this wide diffusion of social facts impedes 
true appreciation of them. 

Moreover, there are illusions consequent on what we may call 
moral perspective, which we do not habitually correct in thought 
as we correct in perception the illusions of physical perspective. 
A small object close to, occupies a larger visual area than a 
mountain afar off ; but here our well-organized experiences 
enable us instantly to rectify a false inference suggested by the 
subtended angles. !N"o such prompt rectification for the per- 
spective is made in sociological observations. A small event 
next door, producing a larger impression than a great event in 
another country, is over-estimated. Conclusions prematurely 
drawn from social experiences daily occurring around us, are 
difficult to displace by clear proofs that elsewhere Avider social 
experiences point to opposite conclusions. 

A further great difficulty to which we are thus introduced " is, 
that the comparisons by which alone we can finally establish 
relations of cause and effect among social phenomena, can rarely 
be made between cases in all respects fit for comparison. Every 
society differs specifically, if not generically, from every other. 
Hence it is a peculiarity of the Social Science that parallels 
drawn between different societies, do not afford grounds for 
decided conclusions — will not, for instance, show us with cer- 
tainty, what is an essential phenomenon in a given society and 
what is a non-essential one. Biology deals with numerous indi- 
viduals of a species, and with many species of a genus, and by 
comparing them can see what traits are specifically constant and 
what generically constant ; and the like holds more or less with 
the other concrete sciences. But comparisons between societies, 
among which we may almost say that each individual is a species 
by itself, yield much less definite results : the necessary cha- 
racters are not thus readily distinguishable from the accidental 

So that even supposing we have perfectly- valid data for our 
sociological generalizations, there still hes before us the difficulty 


that these data are, in many cases, so multitudinous and diffused 
that we cannot adequately consoHdate them into true concep- 
tions ; the additional difficulty that the moral perspective under 
which they are presented, can scarcely ever be so allowed for as 
to secure true ideas of proportions ; and the further difficulty 
that comparisons of our vague and incorrect conceptions con- 
cerning one society with our kindred conceptions concerning 
another society, have- always to be taken with the qualifica- 
tion that the comparisons are only partially justifiable, because 
the compared things are only partially alike in theii* other 

An objective difficulty, even greater still, which the Social 
Science presents, arises from the distribution of its facts in 
Time. Those who look on a society as either supernaturally 
created or created by Acts of Parliament, and who consequently 
consider successive stages of its existence as having no necessary 
dependence on one another, will not be deterred from dravring 
political conclusions from passing facts, by a consciousness of 
the slow genesis of social phenomena. But those who have 
risen to the belief that societies are evolved in structure and 
function, as in growth, will be made to hesitate on contemplating 
the long unfolding through which early causes work out late 

Even true appreciation of the successive facts which an indi- 
vidual life presents, is generally hindered by inability to grasp 
the gradual processes by which ultimate eii'ects are produced ; 
as we may see in the f ooHsh mother who, yielding to her perverse 
shild, gains the immediate benefit of peace, and cannot foresee 
the evil of chronic dissension which her policy will hereafter 
bring about. And in the life of a nation, which, if of high type, 
lasts at least a hundred individual lives, connect estimation of 
results is still more hindered by this immense duration of the 
actions through which antecedents bring their consequents. 
In judging of political good and evil, the average legislator 


tliinks mncli after the manner of tlie mother dealing with the 
spoUed child: if a course is productive of immediate benefit, 
that is considered sufficient justification. Quite recently an in- 
quiry has been made into the results of an administration which 
had been in action some five years only, with the tacit assump- 
tion that supposing the results were proved good, the administra- 
tion would be justified. 

And yet to those who look into the records of the past not to 
revel in narratives of battles or to gloat over court-scandals, but 
to find how institutions and laws have arisen and how they have 
worked, there is no truth more obvious than that generation 
after generation must pass before the outcome of an action that 
has been set up can be seen. Take the example furnished us by 
our Poor Laws. When villeinage had passed away and serfs 
were no longer maintained by their owners — when, in the ab- 
sence of any one to control and take care of serfs, there arose an 
increasing class of mendicants and " sturdy rogues, preferring 
robbery to labour " — when, in Richard the Second's time, autho- 
rity over such was given to justices and sheriffs, out of which 
there presently grew the binding of servants, labourers, and 
beggars, to their respective localities — when, to meet the case of 
beggars, " impotent to serve," the people of the districts in which 
they were found, were made in some measure responsible for 
them (so re-introducing in a more general form the feudal 
arrangement of attachment to the soil, and reciprocal claim on 
the soil) ; it was not suspected that the foundations were laid for 
a system which would, in after times, bring about a demoraliza- 
tion threatening general ruin. When, in subsequent centuries, 
to meet the evils of again-increasing vagrancy which punishment 
failed to repress, these measures, re-enacted with modifications, 
ended in making the people of each parish chargeable with the 
maintenance of their poor, while it re-established the severest 
penalties on vagabondage, even to death without benefit of 
clergy, no one ever anticipated that while the penal elements of 
this legislation would by and by become so mollified as to have 


little practical effect in checking idleness, the acdompanjing 
arrangements would eventually take such forms as i immensely 
to encourage idleness. Neither legislators nor others foresaw 
that in 230 years the poor's-rate, having grown to sev^n millions, 
would become a public spoil of which we read that — 

" The ignorant beUeved it an idexhaustible fund which i'belonged to 
them. To obtain their share the brutal bulbed the adnmustrators, the 
proliigate exhibited their bastards which must be fed, the idle folded their 
arms and waited till they got it ; ignorant boys and girls mamed upon 
it ; poachers, thieves, and prostitutes, extorted it by intimidation ; coun- 
try justices lavished it for popularity, and guardians for convenience. 
. . . Better men sank down among the worse : the rate-paying cot- 
tager, after a vain struggle, went to the pay -table to seek reUef ; the 
modest girl might starve while her bolder neighbour received Is. 6d. per 
week for every illegitimate child." 

As sequences of the law df Elizabeth, no one imagined that, in 
rural districts, farmers, becoming chief administrators, would 
pay part of their men's wages out of the rates (so taxing the rest 
of the ratepayers for the cultivation of their fields) ; and that 
this abnormal relation of master and man would entail bad culti- 
vation. No one imagined that, to escape poor's-rates, landlords 
would avoid building cottages, and would even clear cottages 
away : so causing over-crowding, with consequent evils, bodily 
and mental. No one imagined that workhouses, so called, would 
become places for idling in ; and places where married couples 
would display their ^^ elective afiinities " time after time.*" Yet 
these, and detrimental results which it would take pages to enu- 
merate, culminating in that general result most detrimental of 
all — helping the worthless to multiply at the expense of the 
worthy — finally came out of measures taken ages ago merely to 
mitigate certain immediate evils. 

Is it not obvious, then, that only in the course of those long 
periods requii'ed to mould national characters and habits and 
sentiments, will the truly-important results of a public pohcy 
show themselves ? Let us consider the question a Kttle 


In a society living, growing, clianging, every new factor be- 
comes a permanent force ; m^odifying more or less tlie direction 
of movement determined by the aggregate of forces. Never 
simple and direct, but, by the co-operation of so many causes, 
made ii-regular, involved, and always rhythmical, the course of 
social change cannot be judged of in its general direction by 
inspecting any small portion of it. Each action will inevitably 
be followed, after a while, by some direct or indirect reaction, 
and this again by a re-reaction ; and until the successive effects 
have shown themselves, no one can say how the total motion 
will be modified. Ton must compare positions at great distances 
fi'om one another in time, before you can perceive rightly whither 
things are tending. Even so simple a thing as a curve of single 
curvature cannot have its nature determined unless there is a 
considerable length of it. See here these four points close 
together. The curve passing through them may be a circle, an 
elHpse, a parabola, an hyperbola ; or it may be a catenarian, a 
cycloid, a spiral. Let the points be further apart, and it becomes 
possible to form some opinion of the nature of the cui've — it is 
obviously not a circle. Let them be more remote still, and it 
may be seen that it is neither an ellipse nor a parabola. And 
when the distances are relatively great, the mathematician can 
say with certainty what curve alone will pass through them all. 
Surely, then, in such complex and slowly-evolving movements as 
those of a nation's life, all the smaller and greater rhythms of 
which fall within certain general directions, it is impossible that 
such general directions can be traced by looking at stages that 
are close together — it is impossible that the effect wrought on 
any general direction by some additional force, can be truly com- 
puted from observations extending over but a few years, or but a 
few generations. 

For, in the case of these most-involved of all movements, there 
is the difficulty, paralleled in no other movements (being only 
approached in those of individual evolution), that each new 
factor, besides modifying in an immediate way the course of a 


movement, modifies it also in a remote way, by changing the 
amounts and. directions of all other factors. A fresh influence 
brought into play on a society, not only affects its members 
directly in their acts, but also indirectly in their characters. 
Continuing to work on their characters generation after genera- 
tion, and altering by inheritance the feelings which they bring 
into social life at large, this influence alters the intensities and 
bearings of all other influences throughout the society. By 
slowly initiating modifications of nature, it brings into play 
forces of many kinds, incalculable in their strengths and tenden- 
cies, that act without regard to the original influence, and may 
cause quite opposite effects. 

Fully to exhibit this objective difficulty, and to show more 
clearly still how important it is to take as data for sociological 
conclusions, not the brief sequences, but the sequences that 
extend over centuries or are traceable throughout civilization, let 
us draw a lesson from a trait which all regulative agencies ia all 
nations have displayed. 

The original meaning of human sacrifices, otherwise tolerably 
clear, becomes quite clear on finding that where cannibalism is 
still rampant, and where the largest consumers of human flesh are 
the chiefs, these chiefs, undergoing apotheosis when they die, are 
beheved thereafter to feed on the souls o£ the departed — the 
souls being regarded as duplicates equally material with the 
bodies they belong to. And should any doubt remain, it must 
be dissipated by the accounts we have of the ancient Mexicans, 
whose priests, when war had not lately furnished a victim, com- 
plained to the king that the god was hungiy ; and who, when a 
victim was sacrificed, offered his hcai't to the idol (bathing its 
lips with his blood, and even putting portions of the heart into 
his mouth), and then cooked and ate the rest of the body them- 
selves. Here the fact to which attention is drawn, and which 
various civilizations show us, is that the sacrificing of prisoners 
or others, once a general usage among cannibal ancestry, con- 


tinues as an ecclesiastical usage long after having died out m tlie 
ordinary life of a society. Two facts, closely allied with this 
fact, have like general implications. Cutting implements of 
stone remain in use for sacrificial purposes when implements of 
bronze, and even of iron, are used for all other purposes : the 
Hebrews are commanded in Deuteronomy to build altars of stone 
mthout using iron tools ; the high priest of Jupiter at Rome 
was shaved with a bronze knife. Further, the primitive method 
of obtaining fire by the friction of pieces of wood, survives in 
religious ceremonies ages after its abandonment in the household ; 
and even now, among the Hindus, the flame for the altar is 
kindled by the " fire drill." These are striking instances of the 
pertinacity with which the oldest part of the regulative organiza- 
tion maintains its original traits in the teeth of influences that 
modify things around it. 

The like holds in respect of the language, spoken and written, 
which it employs. Among the Egyptians the most ancient form 
of hieroglyphics was retained for sacred records, when more 
developed forms were adopted for other purposes. The continued 
use of Hebrew for religious services among the Jews, and the 
continued use of Latin for the Roman Catholic service, show us 
how strong this tendency is, apart from the particular creed. 
Among ourselves, too, a less dominant ecclesiasticism exhibits a 
kindred trait. The English of the Bible is of an older style 
than the English of the date at which the translation was made ; 
and in the church service various words retain obsolete mean- 
ings, and others are pronounced in obsolete ways. Even the 
typography, with its illuminated letters of the rubric, shows traces 
of the same tendency ; while Puseyites and rituahsts, aiming to 
reinforce ecclesiasticism, betray a decided leaning towards archaic 
print, as well as archaic ornaments. In the aesthetic direction, 
indeed, their movement has brought back the most primitive type 
of sculpture for monumental purposes ; as may be seen in Canter- 
bury Cathedral, where, in two new monuments to ecclesiastics, 
one being Archbishop Sumner, the robed figures recline on their 


backs, •n-ith liands joined, after tlie manner of the mailed knights 
on early tombs — presenting complete symmetry of attitude, 
which is a distinctive trait of barbaric art, as shown by every 
child's drawing of a man and every idol carved by a savage. 

A conscious as well as an unconscious adhesion to the old 
in usage and doctrine is shown. Not only among Roman 
Cathohcs but among many Protestants, to ascertain what the 
Fathers said, is to ascertain what should be believed. In the 
pending controversy about the Athanasian Creed, we see how 
much authority attaches to an antique document. The anta- 
gonism between Convocation and the lay members of the Church 
— the one as a body wishing to retain the cursing clauses and the 
other to exclude them — further shows that official Protestantism 
adheres to antiquity much more than non- official Protestantism : 
a contrast equally displayed not long since between the opinions 
of the lay part and the clerical part of the Protestant Irish Church. 

Throughout political organizations the like tendency, though 
less dominant, is very strong. The gradual establishment of 
law by the consolidation of custom, is the formation of some- 
thing fixed in the midst of things that are changing ; and, 
regarded under its most general aspect as the agency which 
maintains a permanent order, it is in the very nature of a State- 
organization to be relatively rigid. The way in which primitive 
principles and practices, no longer fully in force among indi- 
viduals rukd, survive in the actions of riding agents, is curiously 
illustrated by the long retention between nobles of a right of 
feud after it had been disallowed between citizens. Chief 
vassals, too, retained this power to secure justice for themselves 
after smaller vassals lost it : not only was a right of war with 
one another recognized, but also a right of defence against the 
king. And we see that even now, in the dealings between 
Grovernmcnts, armed force to remedy injuries is still employed, 
as it originally was between all individuals. As bearing in the 
same direction, it is significant that the right of trial by battle, 
which was a regulated form of the aboriginal system under 


wliich men administered justice in their own cases, survived 
among the ruling classes when no longer legal among inferior 
classes. Even on behalf of religious communities judicial duels 
were fought. Here the thing it concerns us to note is that the 
system of fighting in person and fighting by deputy, when no 
longer otherwise lawful, was retained, actually or formally, in 
various parts of the regulative organization. Up to the reign 
of George III., trial by battle could be claimed as an alternative 
of trial by jury. Duels continued till quite recently between 
members of the ruhng classes, and especially between officers ; 
and even now in Continental armies duelling is not only recog- 
nized as proper, but is, in some cases, imperative. And then, 
showing most strikingly how these oldest usages survive longest, 
in connexion with the oldest part of the governing organization, 
we have had in the coronation ceremony, up to modern times, a 
champion in armour uttering by herald a challenge to all comers 
on behalf of the monarch. 

If, from the agencies by which law is enforced, we pass to legal 
forms, language, documents, &c., the like tendency is everywhere 
conspicuous. Parchment is retained for law-deeds though paper 
has replaced it for other purposes. The form of writing is an 
old form. Latin and N'orman-Prench terms are still in use 
for legal purposes, though not otherwise in use ; and even old 
English words, such as " seize," retain in Law, meanings which 
they have lost in current speech* In the execution of docu- 
m.ents, too, the same truth is illustrated ; for the seal, which was 
originally the signature, continues, though the written signature 
now practically replaces it — nay, we retain a symbol of the 
symbol, as may be seen in every sharo-transfer, where there is a 
paper- wafer to represent the seal. Even still more antique usages 
survive in legal transactions ; as in the form extant in Scotland 
of handing over a portion of rock when an estate is sold, which 
evidently answers to the ceremony among the ancient nations of 
sending earth and water as a sign of yielding territory. 

From the working of State-departments, too, many kindred 


illustrations miglit be given. Even nnder the peremptory re- 
quirements of national safety, tlie flint-lock for muskets was but 
tardily replaced by the percussion-lock ; and the rifle had been 
commonly in use for sporting purposes generations before it came 
into more than sparing use for military purposes. Book-keeping 
by double entry had long been permanently established in the 
mercantile world before it superseded book-keeping by single entry 
in Grovernment offices : its adoption dating back only to 1834, 
when a still more antique system of keeping accounts by notches 
cut on sticks, was put an end to by the conflagration that resulted 
from the burning of the Exchequer-tallies. 

The Hke holds with apparel, in general and in detail. Cocked 
hats are yet to be seen on the heads of officers. An extinct form 
of dress still holds its groimdas the Coui't-dress ; and the sword 
once habitually worn by gentlemen has become the dress-sword 
worn only on State-occasions. Everywhere officiahsm has its 
estabhshed uniforms, which may be traced back to old fashions 
that have disappeared from ordinary life. Some of these antique 
articles of costume we see surmounting the heads of judges ; 
others there are which still hang round the necks of the clei-gy ; 
and others which linger on the legs of bishops. 

Thus, from the use of a flint-knife by the Jews for the reli- 
gious ceremony of circumcision, down to the pronunciation of 
the terminal syllable of the preterite in our Church-service, 
down to the orjez shouted in a law-court to secure attention, down 
to the retention of epaulets for officers, and down to the Norman- 
Erench words in which the royal assent is given, this persistence 
is everywhere traceable. And when we find this persistence 
displayed through all ages in all departments of the regulative 
organization, — when we see it to be the natural accompaniment 
of the function of that organization, which is essentially restrain- 
ing — when we estimate the future action of the organization in 
any case, by observing the general sweep of its cuiwe through- 
out long periods of the past ; we shall see how misleading may 
be the conclusions drawn from recent facts taken by themselves. 


Where tlie regiTlative organization is anywhere made to under- 
take additional functions, we shall not form sanguine anticipa- 
tions on the strength of immediate results of the desired kind ; 
but -we shall suspect that after the phase of early activity has 
passed by, the plasticity of the new structure will rapidly 
diminish, the characteristic tendency towards rigidity will show 
itself, and m place of expansive effect there wiU. come a restric- 
tive effect. 

The reader will now understand more clearly the meaning of 
the assertion that true conceptions of sociological changes are to 
be reached only by contemplating their slow genesis through 
centui'ies, and that basing inferences on results shown in short 
periods, is as illusory as would be judging of the Earth's 
curvature by observing whether we are walking up or down 
hill. After recognizing which truth he will perceive how 
gi'eat is another of the obstacles in the way of the Social 

" But does not all this prove too much ? If it is so difficult to 
get sociological evidence that is not vitiated by the subjective 
states of the witnesses, by their prejudices, enthusiams, interests, 
&c. — if where there is impartial examination, the conditions to 
the inquiry are of themselves so apt to falsify the result — if there 
is so general a proneness to assert as facts observed what were 
really inferences from observations, and so great a tendency also 
to be blinded by exterior trivialities to interior essentials— if even 
where accurate data are accessible, their multitudinousness and 
diffusion in Space make it impracticable clearly to grasp them 
as wholes, while their unfolding in Time is so slow that ante- 
cedents and consequents cannot be mentally represented in their 
true relations ; is it not manifestly impossible that a Social 
Science can be framed ? " 

It must be admitted that the array of objective difficulties 
thus broiTght together is formidable ; and were it the aim of the 
Social Science to draw quite special and definite conclusions, 


whicli must depend for their trutli upon exact data accurately 
co-ordinated, it would obviously liave to be abandoned. But 
there are certain classes of general facts which remain after all 
errors in detail, however produced, have been allowed for. 
Whatever conflicts there may be among accounts of events that 
occurred during feudal ages, comparison of them brings out the 
incontestable truth that there was a Feudal System. By theii* 
implications, chronicles and laws indicate the traits of this 
system ; and on putting side by side narratives and documents 
written, not to tell us about the Feudal System but for quite 
other purposes, we get tolerably clear ideas of these traits in 
their essentials — ideas made clearer still on collating the evidence 
furnished by different contemporary societies. Similarly through- 
out. By making due use not so much of that which past and 
present witnesses intend to tell us, as of that which they tell us 
by implication, it is possible to collect data for inductions re- 
specting social structures and functions in their origin and 
development : the obstacles which arise in the disentangling of 
such data in the case of any particular society, being mostly 
surmountable by the help of the comparative method. 

N^evertheless, the difficulties above enumerated must be ever 
present to us. Throughout, we have to depend on testimony ; 
and in every case we liave to beware of the many modes in which 
evidence may be vitialed — have to estimate its worth when it 
has been discounted in various ways ; and have to take care that 
our conclusions do not depend on any particular class of facts 
gathered from any particular place or time. 



If you watcli the management of a child by a mother of small 
capacity, you may be struck by the inability she betrays to 
imagine the child's thoughts and feelings. Full of energy which 
he must expend in some way, and eager to see everything, her 
little boy is every moment provoking her by his restlessness. 
The occasion is perhaps a railway journey. Now he strives to 
look out of the window ; and now, when forbidden to do that, 
climbs on the seats, or meddles with the small luggage. "Sit 
still," " Get down, I tell you," " Why can't you be quiet? " are 
the commands and exjjostulations she utters from minute to 
minute — partly, no doubt, to prevent the discomfort of fellow- 
passengers. But, as you will see at times when no such motive 
comes into play, she endeavours to repress these childish activi- 
ties mainly out of regard for what she thinks propriety, and 
does it without any adequate recognition of the penalties she 
inflicts. ThoiTgh she herself lived through this phase of extreme 
curiosity — this early time when almost every object passed has 
the charm of novelty, and when the overflowing energies 
generate a painful irritation if pent up ; yet now she cannot 
believe how keen is the desire for seeing which she balks, and 
how difficult is the maintenance of that quietude on which she 
insists. Conceiving her child's consciousness in terms of her 
own consciousness, and feeling how easy it is to sit still and not 



l«ok out of tlie window, slie ascribes his beliaviour to mere 

I recall this and kindred cases to the reader's mind, for the 
purpose of exemplifying a necessity and a difficulty. The neces- 
sity is that in dealing with other beings and interpreting their 
actions, we must represent their thoughts and feelings in terms 
of our own. The difficulty is that in so representing them we 
can never be more than partially right, and are frequently very 
wrong. The conception which any one frames of another's 
mind, is inevitably more or less after the pattern of his own 
mind — is automorphic ; and in proportion as the mind of which 
he has to frame a conception differs from his own, his automor- 
phic interpretation is likely to be wide of the truth. 

That measuring other person's actions by the standards our 
own thoughts and feelings furnish, often causes misconstruction, 
is a remark famihar even to the vulgar. But while among 
members of the same society, having natures nearly akin, it is 
seen that automorphic explanations are often erroneous, it is not 
seen with due clearness how much more en'oneous such explana- 
tions commonly are, when the actions are those of men of 
another race, to whom the kinship in nature is comparatively 
remote. We do, indeed, perceive this, if the interpretations are 
not our own ; and if both the interpreters and the interpreted 
are mentally alien to us. When, as in early English literature, 
we find Greek history conceived in tei*ms of feudal institutions, 
and the heroes of antiquity spoken of as princes, knights, and 
squires, it becomes clear that the ideas concerning ancient 
civilization must have been iitterly wrong. When we find Virgil 
named in religious stories of the middle ages as one among the 
prophets who visited the cradle of Christ — when an illustrated 
psalter gives scenes from the life of Christ in which there 
repeatedly figures a castle with a portcullis — when even the 
crucifixion is described by Langland in the language of chivalry, 
po that the man who pierced Christ's side Avith a spear is con- 
sidered as a knight who disgraced his knighthood * — when we 


read of the Crusaders calling themselves " vassals of Christ ; " 
we need no further proof that by carrying their own sentiments 
and ideas to the interpretation of social arrangements and trans- 
actions among the Jews, our ancestors were led into absurd mis- 
conceptions. But we do not recognize the fact that in virtue of 
the same tendency, we are ever framing conceptions which, if not 
so grotesquely untrue, are yet very wide of the truth. Hoav 
difficult it is to imagine mental states remote from our own so 
correctly that we can understand how they issue in individual 
actions, and consequently in social actions, an instance will make 

The feeling of vague wonder with which he received his first 
lessons in the Creek mythology, wdll most likely be dimly 
remembered by every reader. If not in words, still inarticu- 
lately, there passed through him the thought that faith in such 
stories was unaccountable. When, afterwards, he read in books 
of travels details of the amazing superstitions of savages, there 
was joined with a sense of the absurdity of these superstitions, 
much astonishment at their acceptance by any human beings, 
however ignorant or stupid. Such beliefs as that the people of 
a neighbouring tribe had descended from ducks, that rain fell 
when certain deities began to spit on the Earth, that the island 
lived upon had been pulled up from the bottom of the ocean by 
one of their gods, whose hook got fast when he was fishing — 
these, and countless beliefs equally laughable, seemed to imply 
an irrationality near to insanity. He interpreted them automor- 
phically — carrying with him not simply his own faculties 
developed to a stage of complexity considerably beyond that 
reached by the faculties of the savage, but also the modes of 
thinking in which he was brought up, and the stock of informa- 
tion he had acquired. Probably it has never since occurred to 
him to do otherwise. Even if he now attempts to see thino-s 
from the savage's point of view, he most likely fails entirely ; 
and if he succeeds at all, it is but partially. Yet only by seeing 
things as the savage sees them can his ideas be understood, his 


behaviour accounted for, and the resulting social phenomena 
explained. These apparently-strange superstitions are quite 
natural — quite rational, in a certain sense, in Jtheir respective 
times and places. The laws of intellectual action are the same 
for civilized and uncivilized. The difference between civilized 
and uncivilized is in complexity of faculty and in amount of 
knowledge accumulated and generalized. Given, reflective 
powers developed only to that lower degree in which they are 
possessed by the aboriginal man — given, his small stock of ideas, 
collected in a narrow area of space, and not added to by records 
extending through time — given, his impulsive nature incapable 
of patient inquiry ; and these seemingly-monstrous stories of his 
become in reality the most feasible explanations he can find of 
surrounding things. Yet even after concluding that this must 
be so, it is not easy to think from the savage's stand-point, 
clearly enough to follow the effects of his ideas on his acts, 
through all the relations of life, social and other. 

A parallel difficulty stands in the way of rightly conceiving 
character remote from our own, so as to see how it issues in con- 
duct. We may best recognize our inability in this respect, by 
observing the converse inability of other races to understand our 
characters, and the acts they prompt. 

" Wonderful are the works of Allah ! Behold ! That Frank is trudg- 
ing ahout when he can, if he pleases, sit still ! "^ 

In like manner Captain Speke tells us, — 

" If I walked up and down the same place to stretch my legs, they 
[Somali] formed councils of war on my motives, considering I must have 
some secret designs upon their country, or I would not do it, as no man 
in his senses coidd be guilty of working his legs unnecessarily." ' 

But while, by instances like these, we are shown that our 
characters are in a large measure incomprehensible by races 
remote in nature from us, the correlative fact that we cannot 
rightly conceive their sentiments and motives is one perpetually 
overlooked in our sociological interpretations. FecHng, for 



instance, how natural it is to take an easier course in place of a 
more laborious course, and to adopt new metliods that are proved 
to be better methods, we are puzzled on finding the Chinese 
stick to their dim paper-lamps, though they admire our bright 
argand-lamps, which they do not use if given to them ; or on 
finding that the Hindus prefer their rough primitive tools, after 
seeing how our improved tools do more work with less effort. 
And on descending to races yet more remote in civilization, we 
still oftener discover ourselves wrong when we suppose that 
under given conditions they will act as we should act. 

Here, then, is a siibjective difficulty of a serious kind. To 
understand any fact in social evolution, we have to see it as 
resulting from the joint actions of individuals having certain 
natures. We cannot so understand it without understanding 
their natures ; and this, even by care and ef^rort, we are able to 
do but very imperfectly. Our interpretations must be automor- 
phic ; and yet automorphism perpetually misleads us. 

One would hardly suppose, a priori, that untruthfulness 
would habitually co- exist with credulity. Rather our inference 
might be that, because of the tendency above enlarged upon, 
people most given to making false statements must be people 
most inclined to suspect statements made by others. Yet, some- 
what anomalously, as it seems, habitual veracity generally goes 
with inclination to doubt evidence ; and extreme untrustworthi- 
ness of assertion often has for its concomitant, readiness to 
accept the greatest improbabilities on the slenderest testimony. 
If you compare savage with civilized, or compare the successive 
stages of civilization with one another, you find untruthfulness 
and credulity decreasing together ; until you reach the modern 
man of science, who is at once exact in his statements and critical 
respecting evidence. The converse relation to that seen in the 
man of science, is even now startlingly presented in the East, 
where greediness in swallowing fictions goes along with super- 
fluous telling of falsehoods. An Egyptian prides himself in a 


clever lie, uttered perhaps without motive ; and a dyer will even 
ascribe the failure in fixing one of his colours to the not having 
been successful in a deception. Yet so great is the readiness to 
beHeve improbabilities, that Mr. St. John, in his Tico Years' 
Mesidence in a Levantine Family, narrates how, when the 
" Arabian N'ights' Entertainments " was being read aloud, and 
when he hinted that the stories must not be accepted as true, 
there arose a strong protest against such scepticism : the 
question being asked, — " Why should a man sit down and write 
so many Hes ? " ^ 

I point out this union of seemingly-inconsistent traits, not 
because of the direct bearing it has on the argument, but because 
of its indirect bearing. For I have here to dwell on the mis- 
leading effects of certain mental states which similarly appear 
unlikely to • co-exist, and which yet do habitually co-exist. I 
refer to the belief which, even while I write, I find repeated in 
the leading journal, that " the deeper a student of history goes, 
the more does he find man the same in all time ; " and to the 
opposite belief embodied in current politics, that human nature 
may be readily altered. These two beliefs, which ought to 
cancel one another but do not, originate two classes of errors in 
sociological speculation ; and nothing like correct conclusions in 
Sociology can be drawn until they ha"ve been rejected and re- 
placed by a belief which reconciles them — the belief that human 
nature is indefinitely modifiable, but that no modification of it 
can be brought about rapidly. We will glance at the errors to 
which each of these beliefs leads. 

WTiile it was held that the stars are fixed and that the hills 
are everlasting, there was a certain congruity in the notion that 
man continues unchanged from age to age; but now when we 
know that all stars are in motion, and that there are no Huch 
things as everlasting hills — now when we find all things through- 
out the Universe to be in a ceaseless flux, it is time for this crude 
conception of human nature to disappear out of oiu' social con- 
ceptions ; or ratlier — it is time for its disappearance to be 


followed by that of the many narrow notions respecting tlie past 
and the future of society, which have grown out of it, and which 
linger notwithstanding the loss of their root. For, avowedly 
by some and tacitly by others, it continues to be thought that 
the human heart is as " desperately wicked " as it ever was, and 
that the state of society hereafter will be very much like the 
state of society now. If, when the evidence has been piled mass 
upon mass, there comes a reluctant admission that aboriginal 
man, of troglodyte or kindred habits, differed somewhat from 
man as he was during feudal times, and that the customs and 
sentiments and beliefs he had in feudal times, imply a character 
appreciably unlike that which he has now — if, joined with this, 
there is a recognition of the truth that along with these changes 
in man there have gone still more conspicuous changes in society ; 
there is, nevertheless, an ignoring of the implication that here- 
after man and society will continiie to change, until they have 
diverged as widely from their existing types as their existing 
types have diverged from those of the earliest recorded ages. 
It is true that among the more cultured the probability, or even 
the certainty, that such transformations will go on, may be 
granted ; but the granting is but nominal — the admission does 
not become a factor in the conclusions drawn. The first discus- 
sion on a political or social topic, reveals the tacit assumption 
that, in times to come, society will have a structure substantially 
like its existing structure. If, for instance, the question of 
domestic service is raised, it mostly happens that its bearings are 
considered wholly in reference to those social arrangements 
which exist around us : only a few proceed on the supposition 
that these arrangements are probably but transitory. It is so 
throughout. Be the subject industrial organization, or class- 
relations, or rule by fashion, the thought which practically 
moulds the conclusions, if not the thought theoretically professed, 
is, that whatever changes they may undergo, our institutions 
will not cease to be recognizably the same. Even those who 
have, as they think, deliberately freed themselves from this per- 


verting tendency — even M. Comte and his disciples, believing in 
an entire transformation of society, nevertheless betray an in- 
complete emancipation ; for the ideal society expected by them, 
is one under regulation by a hierarchy essentially akin to 
hierarchies such as mankind have known. So that everywhere 
sociological thinking is more or less impeded by the difficulty of 
bearing in mind that the social states towards which our race is 
being can ied, are probably as little conceivable by us as our pre- 
sent social state was conceivable by a Norse pirate and his 

Note, now, the opposite difficulty, which appears to be sur- 
mountable by scarcely any of our parties, poHtical or philan- 
thropic, — the difficulty of understanding that human nature, 
though indefinitely modifiable, can be modified but very slowly ; 
and that all laws and institutions and appliances which count 
on getting fi'om it, within a short time, much better results than 
present ones, will inevitably fail. If we glance over the pro- 
grammes of societies, and sects, and schools of all kinds, from 
Rousseau's disciples in the French Convention up to the 
members of the United Kingdom Alliance, fi'om the adherents 
of the Ultramontane propaganda up to the enthusiastic advo- 
cates of an education exclasively secular, we find in them one 
common trait. They are all pervaded by the conviction, now 
definitely expressed and now taken as a self-evident truth, that 
there needs but this kind of instruction or that kind of disci- 
pline, this mode of repression or that system of culture, to bring 
society into a very much better state. Here we read that " it is 
necessary completely to re-fashion the people whom one wishes 
to make free": the implication being that a re-fashioning is 
practicable. There it is taken as undeniable that when you 
have taught children what they ought to do to be good citizens, 
they will become good citizens. Elsewhere it is held to be a 
truth beyond question, that if by law temptations to drink are 
removed from men, they will not only cease to drink, but there- 
after cease to commit crimes. And yet the delusiveness of all 


sucli hopes is obvious enougli to any one not blinded by a bypo- 
tliesis, or carried away by an enthusiasm. The fact, often pointed 
out to temperance-fanatics, that some of the soberest nations in 
Europe yield a proportion of crime higher than our own, might 
suffice to show them that England would not be suddenly 
moralized if they carried their proposed restrictions into effect. 
The superstition that good behaviour is to be forthwith pro- 
duced by lessons learnt out of school-books, which was long ago 
statistically disproved,^ would, but for preconceptions, be utterly 
dissipated by observing to what a shght extent knowledge 
affects conduct — by observing that the dishonesty implied in 
the adulterations of tradesmen and manufacturers, in fraudulent 
bankruptcies, in bubble-companies, in "cooking" of railway 
accounts and financial prospectuses, differs only in form, and not 
in amount, from the dishonesty of the uneducated — by observing 
how amazingly little the teachings given to medical students 
affect their lives, and how even the most experienced m.edical 
men have their prudence scarcely &t all increased by their in- 
formation. Similarly, the Utopian ideas which come out afresh 
along with every new political scheme, from the " paper-consti- 
tutions" of the Abbe Sieyes down to the lately-published pro- 
gramme of M. Louis Blanc, and from agitations for vote-by- 
ballot up to those which have a Republic for their aim, might, 
but for this tacit beKef we are contemj)lating, be extinguished 
by the facts perpetually and starthngly thrust on our attention. 
Again and again for three generations has France been showing 
to the world how impossible it is essentially to change the type 
of a social structure by any re-arrangement wrought out through 
a revolution. ' However great the transformation may for a time 
seem, the original thing re-appears in disguise. Out of the no- 
minally-free government set up a new despotism arises, differing 
from the old by having a new shibboleth and new men to utter 
it ; but identical with the old in the determination to put down 
opposition and in the means used to this end. Liberty, when ob- 
tained, is forthwith surrendered to an avowed autocrat; or, 


as we liave seen within tliis year, is allowed to lapse into the 
hands of one who claims the reality of antocracy without its 
title. N'ay, the change is, in fact, even less ; for the regulative 
oi-ganization which I'amifies throughout French society, continues 
unaltered by these changes at the governmental centre. The 
bureaucratic system persists equally under Imperialist, Constitu- 
tional, and Republican arrangements. As the Due d'Audiffret- 
Pasquier pointed out, " Empires fall, IMinistries pass away, but 
Bureaux remain." The aggregate of forces and tendencies em- 
bodied, not only in the structui^al arrangements holding the 
nation together, but in the ideas and sentiments of its units, is 
so powerful, that the excision of a part, even though it be the 
government, is quickly followed by the substitution of a like 
part. It needs but to recall the truth exemplified some chapters 
back, that the properties of the aggregate are determined by the 
properties of its units, to see at once that so long as the charac- 
ters of citizens remain substantially unchanged, there can be no 
substantial change in the political organization which has slowly 
been evolved by them. 

This double difficulty of thought, with the double set of delu- 
sions fallen into by those who do not surmount it, is, indeed, 
naturally associated with the once-universal,- and still-general, 
belief that societies arise by manufactui'e, instead of arising, as 
they do, by evolution. Recognize the truth that incoi'porated 
masses of men grow, and acquire their structui'al characters 
thi'ough modification upon modification, and there are excluded 
these antithetical errors that humanity remains the same and 
that humanity is readily alterable ; and along with exclusion of 
these errors comes admission of the inference, that the changes 
which have brought social arrangements to a form so different 
from past forms, will in future carry them on to forms as different 
from those now existing. Once become habituated to the thought 
of a continuous unfolding of the whole and of each pai-t, and 
these misleading ideas disappear. Take a word and obsei've 
how, while changing, it gives origin in course of time to a family 



of "words, eacli clianging member of wliich. similarly lias pro- 
geny ; take a custom, as that of giving eggs at Easter, which 
has now developed in Paris into the fashion of making expensive 
presents of every imaginable kind inclosed in imitation- eggs, 
becoming at length large enough to contain a brougham, and 
which entails so great a tax that people go abroad to evade it ; 
take a law, once quite simple and made to meet a special case, 
and see how it eventually, by successive additions and changes, 
grows up into a complex gi'oup of laws, as, out of two laws of 
WilHam the Conqueror came our whole legal system regulating 
land-tenure ; '^ take a social appliance, as the Press, and see how 
from the news-letter, originally private and written, and then 
assuming the shape of a printed fly-leaf to a written private 
letter, there has slowly evolved this vast assemblage of journals 
and periodicals, daily, weekly, general, and local, that have, 
individually and as an aggregate, grown in size while growing 
in heterogeneity ; — do this, and do the like with all other 
estabUshed institutions, agencies, products, and there will 
come naturally the conviction that now, too, there are 
various germs of things which will in the future develop 
in ways no one imagines, and take shares in profound trans- 
formations of so'ciety and of its members : transformations 
that are hopeless as inmiediate results, but certain as ultimate 
• results. 

Try to fit a hand with five fingers into a ' glove with four. 
Tour difficulty aptly parallels the difficulty of putting a complex 
conception into a mind not having a proportionately-complex 
faculty. As fast as the several terms and relations which make 
up a thought become many and varied, there must be brought 
into play many and varied parts of the intellectual structure, 
before the thought can be comprehended ; and if some of these 
parts are wanting, only fragments of the thought can be taken 
in. Consider an instance. 

What is meant by the ratio of A to B, may be explained to a 


l3oy by drawing a sliort line A and a long line B, telling him 
that A is said to bear a small ratio to B ; and then, after length- 
ening the line A, telling him that A is now said to bear a larger 
ratio to B. But suppose I have to explain what is meant by 
saying* that the ratio of A to B, equals the ratio of C to D. In- 
stead of two different quantities and one relation, there are now 
four different quantities and three relations. To understand the 
proposition, the boy has to think of A and B and their difference, 
and, without losing his intellectual grasp of these, he has to 
think of C and D and their difference, and, without losing his 
intellectual gi'asp of these, he has to think of the two differences 
as each having a like relation to its pair of quantities. Thus the 
number of terms and relations to be kept before the mind, is 
such as to imply the co-operation of many more agents of 
thought ; any of which being absent, the proposition cannot be 
understood : the boy must be older before he will understand it, 
and, if uncultured, will probably never understand it at all. 
Let us pass on to a conception of still greater complexity — say 
that the ratio of A to B varies as the ratio of C to D. Far more 
numerous tilings have now to be represented in consciousness 
with approximate simultaneity. A and B have to be thought of 
as not constant in their lengths, but as one or both of them 
changing in their lengths ; so that their difference is indefinitely 
variable. Similarly with C and D. And then the variability of 
the ratio in each case being duly conceived in terms of lines that 
lengthen and shorten, the thing to bo understood is, that what- 
ever difference any change brings about between A and B, the 
relation it bears to one or other of them, is always like that which 
the difference simultaneously arising between C and D bears to 
one or other of them. The greater multiplicity of ideas required 
for mentally framing this proposition, evidently puts it further 
beyond the reach of faculties not developed by appropriate cul- 
ture, or not capable of being so developed. And as the type of 
proposition becomes still more involved, as it does when two 
such groups of dependent variables are compared and conclusions 


drawn, it begins to require a grasp that is easy only to the 
disciplined matliematician. 

One who does not possess that complexity of faculty which, 
as we here see, is requisite for gi*asping a complex con- 
ception, may, in cases like these, become conscious of his in- 
capacity ; not from perceiving what he lacks, but from per- 
ceiving that another person achieves results which he cannot 
achieve. But where no such thing as the verifying of exact 
predictions comes in to prove to one of inferior faculty that his 
faculty is inferior, he is usually unaware of the inferiority. To 
imagine a higher mode of consciousness, is in some degree to 
have it ; so that until he has it in some degree, he cannot really 
conceive of its existence. An illustration or two will make this 

Take a child on your knee, and, turning over with him some 
engravings of landscapes, note what he observes. " I see a man 
in a boat," says he, poiating. " Look at the cows coming down 
the hill." "And there is a little boy playing with a dog." 
These and other such remarks, mostly about the living objects 
in each scene, are all you get from hira. ITever by any chance 
iloes he utter a word resjDecting the scene as a whole. There is 
an absolute unconsciousness of anything to be pleased with in 
the combination of wood and water and mountain. And while 
the child is entirely without this complex aesthetic consciousness, 
you see that he has not the remotest idea that such a conscious- 
ness exists in others but is wanting in himself. N"ote now 
a case in which a kindred defect is betrayed by an adult. Tou 
have, perhaps, in the course of your life, had some musical cul- 
ture ; and can recall the stages through which you have passed. 
In early days a symphony was a mystery ; and you were some- 
what puzzled to find others applauding it. An unfolding of 
musical faculty, that went on slowly through succeeding years, 
brought some appreciation ; and now these complex rausical 
combinations which once gave you little or no pleasure, give you 
more pleasure than any others. Remembering all this, you sus- 


pect tliat your indifference to certain still more involved musical 
combinations may arise from incapacity in you, and not from 
faults in them. See, on the other hand, what happens with 
one who has undergone no such series of changes — say, an old 
naval officer, whose life at sea kept him out of the way of con- 
certs and operas. You hear him occasionally confess, or rather 
boast, how much he enjoys the bagpipes. While the last cadences 
of a sonata which a young lady has just played, are still in your 
ears, he goes up to her and asks whether she can play " Polly, 
put the kettle on," or " Johnny comes marching home." And 
then, when concerts are talked about at table, he seizes the occa- 
sion for expressing his dislike of classical music, and scarcely 
conceals his contempt for those who go to hear it. On con- 
templating his mental state, you see that along with absence of 
the ability to grasp complex musical combinations, there goes 
no consciousness of the absence — there is no suspicion that 
such complex combinations exist, and that other persons have 
faculties for appreciating them. 

And now for the application of this general truth to our sub- 
ject. The conceptions with which sociological science is con- 
cerned, are complex beyond all others. In the absence of faculty 
having a corresponding complexity, they cannot be grasped. 
Here, however, as in other cases, the absence of an adequately- 
complex faculty is not accompanied by any consciousness of 
incapacity. Rather do we find that deficiency in the required 
kind of mental grasp, is accompanied by extreme confidence of 
judgment on sociological questions, and a ridicule of those who, 
after long discipline, begin to perceive what there is to be under- 
stood, and how difficult is the right understanding of it. A 
simple illustration of this will prepare the way for more-involved 

A few months ago the Times gave us an account of the last 
achievement in automatic printing — the " Walter- Press," by 
which its own immense edition is thrown ofP in a few hoiu's every 
morning. Suppose a reader of the description, adequately 


familiar witti mechanical details, follows what he reads step hy 
step with full comprehension : perhaps making his ideas more 
definite by going to see the apparatus at work and questioning 
the attendants. Now he goes away thinking he understands all 
about it. Possibly, under its aspect as a feat in mechanical 
engineering, he does so. Possibly also, under its biographical 
aspect, as implying in Mr. Walter and those who co-operated 
with him certain traits, moral and intellectual, he does so. But 
<under its sociological aspect he probably has no notion of its 
m.eaning ; and does not even suspect that it has a sociological 
aspectt Yet if he begins to look into the genesis of the thing, he 
will find that he is but on the threshold of the full cxplana- 
nation. On asking not what is its proximate but what is 

its remote origin, he finds, in the first place, that this automatic 
printing-machine is lineally descended from other automatic 
printing-machines, which have undergone successive develop- 
ments — each pre-supposing others that went before : without 
cylinder printing-machines long previously used and improved, 
there would have been no " Walter- Press." He inquires a step 
further, and discovers that this last improvement became possible 
only by the help of papier-mdclie stereotyping, which, first em- 
ployed for making flat plates, aiforded the possibihty of making 
cychndrical plates. And tracing this back, he finds that plaster- 
of-paris stereotyping came before it, and that there was another 
process before that. Again, he learns that this highest form of 
automatic printing, hke the many less-developed forms precedijig 
it, depended for its practicabihty on the introduction of rollers 
for distributing ink, instead of the hand-implements used by 
" printer's-devils " fifty years ago; which rollers, again, could 
never have been made fit for their present purposes, without the 
discovery of that curious elastic compound out of which they are 
cast. A.nd then, on tracing the more remote antecedents, he 
finds an ancestry of hand printing-presses, which, through gene- 
rations, had been successively improved. Now, perhaps, he 
thinks he understands the apparatus, considered as a sociological 


fact. Far from it. Its multitudinous parts, which w^lll work 
together only when highly finished and exactly adjusted, came 
fTom machine-shops ; where there are varieties of complicated, 
highly-finished engines for turning cylinders, cutting out wheels, 
planing bars, and so forth ; and on the pre- existence of these the 
existence of this printing-machine depended. If he inquires into 
the liistory of these complex automatic tools, he finds they have 
severally been, in the slow course of mechanical progress, brought 
to their present perfection by the help of preceding complex auto 
matic tools of various kinds, that co-operated to make their 
component parts — each larger, or more accurate, lathe or planing- 
machinc having been made possible by pre-existing lathes and 
plauing-machines, inferior in size or exactness. And so if he 
traces back the whole contents of the machine-shop, with its 
many different instruments, he comes in course of time to the 
blacksmith's hammer and anvil ; and even, eventually, to still 
ruder appliances. The explanation is now completed, he 

thinks. Not at all. No such process as that which the " Walter- 
Press " shows us, was possible untd there had been invented, and 
slowly perfected, a paper-machine capable of making miles of paper 
without break. Thus there is the genesis of the paper-machine 
involved, and that of the multitudinous appliances and devices 
which preceded it, and are at present implied by it. Have 

we now got to the end of the matter ? No ; we have just 
glanced at one group of the antecedents. All this development 
of mechanical apphances — this growth of the iron-manufacture, 
this extensive use of machinery made fi*om iron, this production 
of so many machines for making machines — has had for one of 
its causes the abundance of the raw materials, coal and ii'on ; has 
had for another of its causes the insular position which has 
favoured peace and the increase of industrial activity. There 
have been moral causes at work too. Without that readiness to 
sacrifice present ease to future benefit, which is implied by enter- 
prise, there would never have arisen the machine in question, — 
nay, there would never have arisen the multitudinous improvc^.l 



instruments and processes that have made it possible. And 
beyond the moral traits which enterprise pre-snpposes, there are 
those pre-supposed by efficient co-operation. Without mecha- 
nical engineers who fulfilled their contracts tolerably well, by 
executing work accurately, neither this machine itself nor the 
machines that made it, could have been produced ; and withooit 
artizans having considerable conscientiousness, no master could 
insure accui"ate work. Try to get such products out of an inferior 
race, and you will find defective character an insuperable obstacle. 
So, too, mil you find defective intelligence an insuperable ob- 
stacle. The skilled artizan is not an accidental product, either 
morally or intellectually. The intelligence needed for making a 
new thing is not everywhere to be found ; nor is there every- 
where to be found the accuracy of perception and nicety of exe- 
cution without which no complex machine can be so made that 
it will act. Exactness of finish in machines has developed ^ari 
passu with exactness of perception in artizans. Inspect some 
m.echanical appliance made a century ago, and you may see that, 
even had all other requisite conditions been fulfilled, want of the 
requisite skill in workmen would have been a fatal obstacle to 
the production of an engine requiring so many delicate adjust- 
ments. So that there are implied in this mechanical achieve- 
ment, not oiJy our slowly-generated industrial state, with its 
innumerable products and processes, but also the slowly-moulded 
moral and intellectual natures of masters and workmen. Has 

nothing now been forgotten ? Yes, we have left out a whole 
division of all-important social phenomena — those which we 
group as the progress of knowledge. Along with the many 
other developments that have been necessary antecedents to this 
machine, there has been the development of Science. The grow- 
ing and improving arts of all kinds, have been helped up, step 
after step, by those generalized experiences, becoming ever wider, 
more complete, more exact, which make up what we call Mathe- 
matics, Physics, Chemistry, &c. Without a considerably- deve- 
loped Geometry, there could never have been the machines for 



making macliines ; still less this machine that has proceeded 
from them. Without a developed Physics, there would have 
been no steam-engine to move these various automatic appUances, 
primary and secondary ; nor would the many implied metallurgic 
processes have been brought to the needful perfection. And in 
the absence of a developed Chemistry, many other requirements, 
direct and indirect, could not have been adequately fulfilled. So 
that, in fact, this organization of knowledge which began with 
civilization, had to reach something like its present stage before 
such a machine could come into existence ; supposing all other 
l^re-requisites to be satisfied. Surely we have now got to 

the end of the history. J^ot quite : there yet remains an essen- 
tial factor. 1^0 one goes on year after year spending thousands 
of pounds and much time, and persevering thi-ough disappoint- 
ment and anxiety, without a strong motive : the "Walter- Press" 
was not a mere tour de force. Why, then, -nas it produced ? To 
meet an immense demand with great promptness — to print, with 
one machine, 16,000 copies per hour. "Whence arises this demand ? 
From an extensive reading public, brought in the course of 
generations to have a keen morning-appetite for news of all 
kinds — merchants who need to know the latest prices at home 
and the latest telegrams from abroad ; politicians who must learn 
the result of last night's division, be informed of the new diplo- 
matic move, and read the speeches at a meeting ; sporting men 
who look for the odds and the result of yesterday's I'ace ; ladies 
who want to see the births, marriages, and deaths. And on 
asking the origin of these many desires to be satisfied, they prove 
to be concomitants of our social state in general — its trading, 
political, philanthropic, and other activities ; for in societies 
where these are not dominant, the demand for news of various 
kinds rises to no such intensity. See, then, how enoi'moasly 

involved is the genesis of this machine, as a sociological pheno- 
menon. A whole encyclopaedia of mechanical inventions — some 
dating from the earliest times — go to the explanation of it. 
Thousands of years of discipline, by which the impulsive impro- 


vident nature of the savage has been evolved into a comparatively 
self-controlling nature, capable of sacrificing present ease to 
future good, are pre-supposed. There is pre-supposed the equally- 
long discipline by which the inventive faculty, almost wholly 
absent in the savage, has been evolved ; and by which accuracy, 
not even conceived by the savage, has been ctiltivated. And 
there is further pre-supposed the slow political and social pro- 
gress, at once cause and consequence of these other changes, that 
has brought us to a state in which such a machine finds a func- 
tion to fulfil. 

The complexity of a sociological fact, and the difiiculty of 
adequately grasping it, will now perhaps be more apparent. For 
as in this case there has been a genesis, so has there been in every 
other case, be it of institution, arrangement, custom, belief, &c. ; 
but while in this case the genesis is comparatively easy to trace, 
because of the comparatively- concrete character of process and 
product, it is in other cases difficult to trace, because the factors 
are mostly not of sensible kinds. And yet only when the genesis 
has been traced — only when the antecedents of all ovders have 
been observed in their co-operation, generation after generation, 
through past social states — is there reached that interpretation 
of a fact which makes it a part of sociological science, properly 
tmderstood. If, for instance, the true meaning of such pheno- 
mena as those presented by trade-combinations is to be seen, it is 
needful to go back to those remote Old-English periods when 
analogous causes produced analogous results. As Brentano 
points out — 

" The workmen formed their Trade-Unions against the aggressions of 
the then rising manufacturmg lords, as in earlier times the old freemen 
formed their Frith-Gilds against tlie tyranny of medieval magnates, and 
the free handicraftsmen their Craft-Gilds against the aggressions of the 
Old-burghers." ^ 

Then, having studied the successive forms of such organizations 
in relation to the successive industrial states, there have to bo 
observed the ways in which they are severally related to other 

jc 2 


plienomcna of their respective times — the political institutions, 
the class-distinctions, the family-arrangements, the modes of 
distribution and degrees of intercourse between localities, the 
amounts of knowledge, the religious beliefs, the morals, the 
sentiments, the customs, the ideas. Considered as parts of a 
nation, having structures that form parts of its structure, and 
actions that modify and are modified by its actions, these trade- 
societies can have their full meanings perceived, only when they 
are studied in their serial genesis through many centui'ies, and 
their changes considered in relation to simidtaneous changes 
throughout the social organism. And even then there remains 
the deeper inquiry — How does it happen that in nations of certain 
types no analogous institations exist, and that in nations of other 
types the analogous institutions have taken forms more or less 
different ? 

That phenomena so involved cannot be seen as they truly are, 
even by the highest intelligence at present existing, is tolerably 
manifest. And it is manifest also that a Science of Society is 
likely for a long time hence to be recognized by but few ; since, 
not only is there in most cases an absence of faculty complex 
enough to grasp its complex phenomena, but there is mostly an 
absolute unconsciousness that there are any such complex pheno- 
mena to be grasped. 

To the want of due complexity of conccptivc faculty, has to be 
added, as a further difficulty, the want of due plasticity of con- 
ceptive faculty. The general ideas of nearly all men have been 
framed out of experiences gathered within comparatively- narrow 
areas ; and general ideas so framed are far too rigid readily to 
admit the multitudinous and varied combinations of facts which 
Sociology presents. The child of Puritanic parents, brought up 
in the belief that Sabbath-breaking brings after it all kinds of 
transgressions, and having had pointed out, in the village or 
small town that formed his world, various instances of this con- 
nexion, is somewhat perplexed in after-years, when acquaintance 


vrith more of his countrymen has shown him exemplary lives 
joined with non-observance of the Snnday. When during con- 
tinental travel he finds that the best people of foreign societies 
neglect injunctions which he once thought essential to right 
conduct, he still further widens his originally small and stiff 
conception. Now the process thus exemplified in the change of 
a single superficial belief, has to be gone through with numerous 
beliefs of deeper kinds, before there can be reached the flexibility 
of thought required for dealing properly with sociological phe- 
nomena. Not in one direction, but in most directions, we have 
to learn that those connexions of social facts which we commonly 
regard as natural and even necessary, are not necessary, and often 
have no particular naturalness. On contemplating past social 
states, we are continually reminded that many arrangements, 
and practices, and convictions, that seem matters of course, are 
very modem ; and that others which we now regard as impos- 
sible were quite possible a few centuries ago. Still more on 
studying societies alien in race as well as in stage of civilization, 
we per|Detually meet with things contrary to everything we 
should have thought probable, and even such as we should have 
scarcely hit upon in trying to conceive the most unlikely things. 

Take in illustration the varieties of domestic relations. That 
monogamy is not the only kind of marriage, we are early taught 
by our Bible-lessons. But though the conception of polygamy 
is thus made somewhat familiar, it does not occur to us that 
polyandry is also a possible arrangement ; and we are surprised 
on first learning that it exists, and was once extremely general. 
When we contemplate these marital institutions unlike our own, 
we cannot at first imagine that they are practised with a sense 
of propriety like that with which we practise ours. Tet Living- 
stone narrates that in a tribe bordering one of the Central African 
lakes, the women were quite disgusted on hearing that in Eng- 
land a man has only one wife. This is a feeling by no mears 
peculiar to them. 

" An intelligent Kandvan chief with whom Mr. Bailev visited these 


Veddahs was ' perfectly scandalised at the utter barbarism of living with 
only one wife, and never parting until separated by death.' It was, he 
said, 'just like the wanderoos ' (monkeys)."^ 

Again, one would suppose that, as a matter of course, monogamy, 
polygamy, and polyandry, in its several varieties, exhausted the 
possible forms of marriage. An utterly-unexpected form is fur- 
nished us by one of the African tribes. Marriage, among them, 
is for so many days in tlie week — commonly for four days in the 
week, which, is said to be " the custom in the best families : " the 
wife during tbe off-days being regarded as an independent 
woman wh.o may do what she pleases. We are a little surprised, 
too, on reading tbat by some of the Hill-tribes of India, unfaith- 
fulness on the part of th.e husband is held to be a grave offence, 
but unfftithfHincss on the part of the wife a trivial one. We 
assume, as self-evident, that good usage of a wife by a busband, 
implies, among otber things, absence of violence ; and lience it 
seems scarcely imaginable that in some places tbe opposite crite- 
rion bolds. Yet it does so among the Tartars. 

" A nursemaid of mine left me to be married, and some short time 
after she went to the Natchalnick of the place to make a complaint 
against her husband. He inquired into the matter, when she oooUy 
told him her husband did not love her. He asked how she knew he 
did not love her ; 'Because,' she rephed, 'he never whipped her.'""^ 

A statement which miglit be rejected as incredible were it not 
for tbe analogous fact that, among the Soutb- African races, a 
white master wbo does not tlirash. his men, is ridiculed and 
reproached by them as not worthy to be called a master. 
Among domestic customs, again, who, if he had been set to 
imagine all possible anomalies, would have hit upon that which 
is found among the Basques, and has existed among other races 
— the custom that on the birth of a child the husband goes to 
bed and receives the congratulations of friends, while his wife 
returns to her household work ? Or who, among the results of 
having a son born, would dream of that which occui's among 
some Polynesian races, where the father is forthwith dispossessed 


of Ms property, and becomes simply a guardian of it on behalf 
of tbe infaiit ? The varieties of filial relations and of accom- 
panying sentiments, continually show us things equally strange, 
and at first sight equally unaccountable. l!^o one would imagine 
that it might anywhere be thought a duty on the part of children 
to bury their parents alive. Yet it is so thought among the 
Fijians ; of whom we read also that the parents thus put out of 
the way, go to their graves with smiling faces. Scarcely less 
incredible does it seem that a man's affection should be regarded 
as more fitly shown towards the children of others than towards 
his own children. Yet the Hill- tribes of India supply an example. 

Among the Nairs " every man looks upon his sister's children as his 
heirs, . . . and he would be considered as an unnatural monster 
were he to show such signs of grief at the death of a child which . ; . 
he might suppose to be his own, as he did at the death of a child of his 
sister," ^° 

" The philoprogenitiveness of philosophical Europe is a strange idea, 
as well as term, to the Nair of Malabar, who learns with his earhest mind 
that his imcle is a nearer relation to him than his father, and conse- 
quently loves his nephew much more than his son." '^ 

When, in the domestic relations, we meet with such varieties 
()f law, of custom, of sentiment, of belief, thus indicated by a few 
examples which might be indefinitely multiplied, it may be 
imagined how multitudinous are the seeming incongruities 
among the social relations at large. To be made conscious of 
these, however, it is not needful to study uncivilized tribes, or 
alien races partially civilized. If we look back to the earlier 
stages of European societies, we find abundant proofs that social 
phenomena do not necessarily hang together in ways such as our 
daily experiences show ns. Religious conceptions may be taken 
in illustration. 

The grossness of these among dualized nations as they at pre- 
sent exist, might, indeed, prepare us for their still greater gross- 
ness during old times. When, close to Boulogne, one passes a 
crucifix, at the foot of which lies a heap of mouldering crosses. 


eacli made of two bits of lath nailed togettei?, deposited by 
passers-bj in the expectation of Di\-ine favonr jco be so gained, 
one cannot but have a sense of strangeness on glancing at tlie 
adjacent railway, and on calling to mind the achievements of the 
French in science. Still more may one marvel on finding, as in 
Spain, a bnll-fight got np in the interests of the Church — the 
proceeds being devoted to a " Holy House of Mercy! " And yet 
great as seem the incongruities between religious beliefs and 
social states now displayed, more astonishing incongruities are 
disclosed on going far back. Consider the conceptions implied by 
sundry mystery-plays ; and remember that they were outgroA\-ths 
from a theory of the Divine government, whichj men were after- 
wards burnt for rejecting. Payments of wages to actors are 
entered thus : — 

" Imprimis, to God, ij» 

Item, to Cayphas, iij'- iiij''- 

Item, to one of the knights, ij** 
Item, to the devyll and to Judas, xviij''- 
""We have frequently such entries as : ' Item, payd for the spret (spirit) 
God's cote, ij*' We learn from these entries that God's coat was of 
leather, painted and gilt, and that he had a vrig of false hair, also 
gilt." '- 

" Even the Virgin's conception is made a subject of ribaldry ; and in 
the Coventry collection we have a mystery, or play, on the subject of 
her pretended trial. It opens with the appearance of the somnour, who 
reads a long list of offences that appear in his book ; then come two 
' detractors ' who repeat certain scandidous stories relating to Joseph and 
Mary, upon the strength of Mhich they are summoned to appear before 
the ecclesiastical court. They are accordingly put ujjon tlieir trial, and 
we have a broad picture of the proceedings in such a case," &c.^-' 

Again, on looking into the ilkiminated missals of old times, there 
is revealed a mode of conceiving Christian doctrine which it is 
difficult to imagine as current in a civilized, or even semi-civilized, 
society : instance the ideas implied by a highly-finished figure of 
Christ, from whose wounded side a stream of wafers spouts on 


to a salver lield by a priest. Or take a devotional book of later 
date — a printed psalter profusely illustrated with, woodcuts re- 
presenting incidents in the life of Christ. Page after page 
exhibits ways in which his sacrifice is utilized after a perfectly- 
material manner. Here are shown vines growing out of his 
wounds, and the grapes these vines bear are being devoured by 
bishops and abbesses. Here the cross is fixed on a large barrel, 
into which his blood falls in torrents, and out of which there 
issue jets on to groups of ecclesiastics. And here, his body being 
represented in a horizontal position, there rise from the wounds 
in his hands and feet fountains of blood, which priests and nuns 
are collecting in buckets and jars. N^ay, even more astonishing 
is the mental state implied by one of the woodcuts, which tries 
to aid the devotional reader in conceiving the Trinity, by repre- 
senting three persons standing in one pair of boots ! '■* Quite in 
harmony with these astoundingly-gross conceptions are the con- 
ceptions implied by the popular literature. The theological ideas 
that grew up in times when Papal authority was siipreme, and 
before the sale of indulgences had been protested against, may 
be judged from a story contained in the Folk-lore collected by 
the Brothers Grimm, called " The Tailor in Heaven." Here is 
an abridged translation that has been made for me : — 

" God, having one day gone out Avith the saints and the apostles for a 
walk, left Peter at the door of heaven with strict orders to admit no one. 
Soon after a tailor came and pleaded to he let in. But Peter said that 
God had forbidden any one to be admitted ; besides, the tailor was a 
bad character, and ' cabbaged ' the cloth he used. The tailor said the 
pieces he had taken were small, and had fallen into his basket ; and he 
was ■^•illing to make himself useful — he would carry the babies, and 
wash or mend the clothes. Peter at -last let him in, but made him sit 
down in a corner, l^elmid the door. Taking advantage of Peter's going 
outside for a minute or two, the tailor left his seat and looked about 
him. He soon came to a place where there were many stools, and a 
chair of massive gold and a golden footstool, which were God's. Climb- 
ing up on the chair, he could see all that was happening on the earth ; 
and he saw an old woman, who was washing clothes in a stream, making 


away witli some of the linen. In his anger, lie took up the footstool 
and threw it at her. As he could not get it back, he thought it best 
to return to his place behind the door, where he sat down, putting on an 
air of innocence. God now re-entered, without observing the tailor. 
Finding his footstool gone, he asked Peter what had become of it — had 
he let anyone in ? The apostle at first evaded the question, but con- 
fessed that he had let in one — onlj', however, a poor limping tailor. 
The tailor was then called, and asked wh:?t he had done with the foot- 
stool. When he had told, God said to him : — * you knave, if I judged 
like you, how long do you think 7jou would have escaped ? For long 
ago I should not have had a chair or even a poker left in the place, but 
should have hurled everything at the sinners.' " '* 

These examples, out of multitudes that might be given, show 
the wide limits of variation within which social phenomena 
range. When we bear in mind that, along with theological 
ideas that now seem little above those of savages, there went (in 
England) a political constitution having outUnes like the pre- 
sent, an established body of laws, a regular taxation, an eman- 
cipated working-class, an industrial system of considerable 
complexity, with the general intelligence and mutual trust 
implied by social co-operations so extensive and involved, we see 
that there are possibilities of combination far more numerous 
than we are apt to suppose. There is proved to us the need for 
greatly enlarging those stock-notions which are so firmly esta- 
blished in us by daily observations of surrounding arrangements 
and occurrences. 

"We might, indeed, even if limited to the evidence which our 
own society at the present time supplies, greatly increase the 
j)lasticity of our conceptions, did we contemplate the facts as 
they really are. Could we nationally, as well as individually, 
" see ourselves as others see us," we might find at home seeming 
contradictions, sufficient to show us that what we think neces- 
sarily-connected traits are by no means necessarily connected. 
We might learn from our own institutions, and books, and 
journals, and debates, that while there are certain constant rela- 



tions among social plienomena, tliey are not the relations com- 
monly supposed to be constant ; and tliat when, from some 
conspicuous characteristic we infer certain other characteristics, 
we may be quite wrong. To aid ourselves in perceiving this, let 
us, varying a somewhat trite mode of representation, consider 
what might be said of us by an independent observer living in 
the far future — supposing his statements translated into our 
cunabrous language. 

" Though the diagrams used for teaching make every child 
aware that many thousands of years ago the Earth's orbit began 
to recede from its limit of greatest excentricity ; and though all 
are familiar with the consequent fact that the glacial epoch, 
which has so long made a large part of the northern hemisphere 
uninhabitable, has passed its climax ; yet it is not universally 
known that in some regions, the retreat of glaciers has lately 
made accessible, tracts long covered. Amid moraines and undei- 
vast accumulations of detritus, have been found here ruins, there 
semi-fossilized skeletons, and in some places even records, which, 
by a marvellous concurrence of favourable conditions, have been 
so preserved that parts of them remain legible. Just as fossil 
cephalopods, turned up by our automatic quarrying-eno-ines, are 
sometimes so perfect that drawings of them are made with the 
sepia taken from their own ink-bags ; so here, by a happy chance, 
there have come down to us, from a long-estinct race of men 
those actual secretions of their daily life, which furnish colourino- 
matter for a picture of them. By great perseverance our ex- 
plorers have discovered the key to their imperfectly-developed 
language ; and in course of years have been able to put too-ether 
facts yielding us faint ideas of the strange peoples who lived in 
the northern hemisphere during the last prc-glacial period. 

" A report just issued refers to a time called by these peoples 
the middle of the nineteenth century of their era ; and it con- 
cerns a nation of considerable interest to us — the Enoiish. 
Though until now no traces of this ancient nation were known 
to exist, yet there survived the names of certain great men it 


produced — one a poet "u-liose range of imagination and depth of 
insight are said to have exceeded those of all who "werrt before 
him ; the other, a man of science, of whom, profound ap '^ve may 
suppose in many ways, we know definitely this, that to all na- 
tions then living, and that have since lived, he taught how the 
Universe is balanced. What kind of people the English were, 
and what kind of civilization they had, have thus always been 
questions exciting curiosity. The facts disclosed by this report, 
are scarcely like those anticipated. Search was first made 

for traces of these great men, who, it was supposed, would bo 
conspicuously commemorated. Little was found, however. It 
did, indeed, appear that the last of them, who revealed to man- 
kind the constitution of the heavens, had received a name of 
honour like that which they gave to a successful trader who pre- 
sented an address to their monarch ; and besides a tree planted 
in his memory, a small statue to their great poet had been put 
up in one of their temples, where, however, it was almost lost 
among the many and large monuments to their fighting chiefs. 
I^ot that commemorative structures of magnitude were never 
erected by the English. Our explorers discovered traces of a 
gigantic one, in which, apparently, persons of distinction and 
deputies from all nations were made to take part in honouring 
some being — man he can scarcely have been. For it is difiicult 
to conceive that any man could have had a worth transcendent 
enough to draw from them such extreme homage, when they 
thought so little of those by whom their name as a race has been 
saved from oblivion. Their distribution of monumental 

honours was, indeed, in all respects remarkable. To a physician 
named Jenner, who, by a mode of mitigating the ravages of a 
horrible disease, was said to have rescued many thousands froni 
death, they erected a memorial statue in one of their chief public 
places. After some years, however, repenting them of giving 
to this statue so conspicuous a position, they banished it to a far 
comer of one of their subiii'ban gardens, frequented cliiefly by 
children and nursemaids : and in its place, they erected a statue 


to a great leader of their fighters — one Napier, who had helped 
them to conquer and keep down certain weaker races. The 
reporter does not tell us whether this last had been instrumental 
in destroying as many lives as the first had saved ; but he re- 
marks — ' I could not cease wondering at this strange substitu- 
tion among a people who professed a religion of peace.' This 
does not seem to have been an act out of harmony with their 
usual acts : quite the contrary. The records show that to keep 
up the remembrance of a great victory gained over a neighbour- 
ing nation, tliey held for many years an annual banquet, much 
in the spirit of the commemorative scalp-dances of still more 
barbarous peoples ; and there was never wanting a priest to ask 
on the banquet, a blessing from one they named the God of love. 
In some res^DCcts, indeed, their code of conduct seems not to 
have advanced beyond, but to have gone back from, the code of 
a still more ancient people from whom their creed was derived. 
One of the laws of this ancient people was, ' an eye for an eye, 
and a tooth for a tooth ;' but sundry laws of the EngHsh, espe- 
cially those concerning acts that interfered with some so-called 
sports of their ruling classes, inflicted penalties which imply that 
their principle had become ' a leg for an eye, and an arm for a 
tooth.' The relations of their creed to the creed of this ancient 
people, are, indeed, difficult to ujaderstand. They had at one 
time cruelly persecuted this ancient people — Jews they were 
called — because that particular modification of the Jewish relioion 
which they, the English, nominally adopted, was one which the 
Jews would not adopt. And yet, marvellous to relate, while 
they tortured the Jews for not agreeing with them, they sub- 
stantially agreed with the Jews. Not only, as above instanced, 
in the law of retaliation did they outdo the Jews, instead of 
obeying the quite-opposite principle of the teacher they wor- 
shipped as divine, but they obeyed the Jewish law, and disobeyed 
this divine teacher, in other ways — as in the rigid observance of 
every seventh day, which he had deliberately discountenanced. 
•Though they were angry with those who did not nominally 


believe in Cliristianity (-which "was the name of their religion), 
yet they ridiculed those who really bclicTed in it ; for some few 
people among them, nicknamed Quakers, who aimed to carry out 
Chi'istian precepts instead of Jewish precepts, they made butts 
for their jokes. N^ay, more ; their substantial adhesion to the 
creed they professedly repudiated, was clearly demonstrated by 
this, that in each of their temples they fixed up in some con- 
spicuous place, the ten commandments of the Jewish religion, 
while they rarely, if ever, fixed up the two Christian command- 
ments given instead of them. ' And yet,' says the reporter, 
after dilating on these strange facts, ' though the English were 
greatly given to missionary enterprises of all kinds, and though 
I sought diligently among the records of these, I could find no 
ti-ace of a society for converting the English people from Judaism 
to Christianity.' This mention of their missionaiy enter- 

prises introduces other remarkable anomalies. Being anxious to 
get adherents to this creed which they adopted in name but not 
in fact, they sent out men to various parts of the world to pro- 
pagate it — one part, among others, being that subjugated ten-it ory 
above named. There the English missionaries taught the gentle 
precepts of their faith ; and there the officers employed by their 
goverament exemplified these precepts : one of the exemplifica- 
tions being that, to put down a riotous sect, they took fifty out 
of sixty-six who had surrendered, and, without any trial, blew 
them from the guns, as they called it — tied them to the mouths 
of cannon and shattered their bodies to pieces. And then, 
curiously enough, having thus taught and thus exemplified their 
religion, they expressed great surprise at the fact that the only 
converts theii* missionaries could obtain among these jjeople, were 
hypocrites and ruen of characters so bad that no one would em- 
ploy them. 

"Nevertheless, these semi-civilized English had their good 
points. Odd as must have been the delusion which made them 
send out missionaries to inferior races, who wei"e always ill used 
by their sailors and settlers, and eventually extirpated, yet on 


finding that they spent annually a million of thei}.' money in mis- 
sionary and allied enterprises, we cannot but see some generosity 
of motive in them. Their country was dotted over with hos- 
pitals and almshouses, and institutions for taking care of the 
diseased and indigent ; and their towns were overrun with 
philanthropic societies, which, without saying anything about 
the wisdom of their policy, clearly implied good feeling. They 
expended in the legal relief of their poor as much as, and at 
one time more than, a tenth of the revenue raised for all national 
purposes. One of their remarkable deeds was, that to get rid 
of a barbarous institution of those times, called slavery, under 
which, in theii' colonies, certain men held complete possession of 
others, their goods, their bodies, and practically even their lives, 
they paid down twenty millions of their money. And a not less 
striking proof of sympathy was that, during a war between two 
neighbouring nations, they contributed large sums, and sent out 
miany men and women, to help in taking care of the wounded 
and assisting the ruined. 

" The facts brought to light by these explorations are thus 
extremely instructive. Now that, after tens of thousands o£ 
years of discipline, the lives of men in society have become 
harmonious — now that character and conditions have little by 
little grown into adjustment, we are apt to suppose that con- 
gruity of institutions, conduct, sentiments, and beliefs, is neces- 
sary. We think it almost impossible that, in the same society, 
there should be daily practised principles of quite opposite kinds ; 
and it seems to us scarcely credible that men should have, or 
profess to have, beliefs with which their acts are absolutely irre- 
concilable. Only that extremely-rare disorder, insanity, could 
explain the conduct of one who, knowing that fire burns, never- 
theless thrusts his hand into the flame ; and to insanity also we 
should ascribe the behaviour of one who, professing to think a 
certain course morally right, pursued the opposite course. Yet 
the revelations yielded by these ancient remains, show us that 
societies could hold tog-ether notwithstandins; what we should 


tliiulc a chaos of conduct and of opinion. Nay more, ttcy show 
us that it was possible for men to profess one thing and do ano- 
ther, without betraying a consciousness of inconsistency. One 
piece of evidence is curiously to the point. Among their multi- 
tudinous agencies for beneficent jDurposes, the English had a 
'Naval and Military Bible Society' — a society for distributing 
copies of their sacred book among their professional fighters on 
sea and land ; and this society was subscribed to, and chiefly 
managed by, leaders among these fighters. It is, indeed, sug- 
gested by the reporter, that for these classes of men they had an 
expurgated edition of their sacred book, from which the injunc- 
tions to ' return good for evil,' and to ' turn the cheek to the 
smiter,' were omitted. It may have been so ; but, even if so, 
we have a remarkable instance of the extent to which conviction 
and conduct may be diametrically opposed, without any apparent 
perception that they are opposed. "We habitually assume that a 
distinctive trait of humanity is rationality, and that rationality 
involves consistency ; yet here we find an extinct race (unques- 
tionably human and regarding itself as rational) in which the 
inconsistency of conduct and professed belief was as great as 
can well be imagined. Thus we are warned against supposing 
that what now seems to us natural was always natural. We 
have our eyes opened to an error which has been getting con- 
firmed among us for these thousands of years, that social phe- 
nomena and the phenomena of human natui-e necessarily hang 
together in the ways we see around us." 

Before summing up what has been said under the title of 
" Subjective difficulties — Intellectual," I may remark that this 
o-roup of difficulties is separated from the gi-oup of " Objective 
Bifiiculties," dealt with in the last chapter, rather for the sake of 
convenience than because the division can be strictly maintained. 
In contemplating obstacles to interpretation — phenomena being 
on the one side and intelligence on the other — we may, as we 
please, ascribe failure either to the inadequacy of the intelligence 


or to tlie involved nature of tlie phenomena. An obstacle is 
subjective or objective according to our point of view. But the 
obstacles above set forth arise in so direct a way from con- 
spicuous defects of human intelligence, that they may, more 
appropriately than the preceding ones, be classed as subjective. 

So regarding them, then, we have to beware, in the first place, 
of this tendency to automorphic interpretation ; or rather, having 
no alternative but to conceive the natures of other men in terms 
furnished by our own feelings and ideas, we have to beware of 
the mistakes likely hence to arise — discounting our conclusions 
as well as we can. Further, we must be on our guard against 
the two opposite prevailing errors respecting Man, and against 
the sociological errors flowing from them : we have to get xid of 
the two beliefs that human nature is unchangeable, and that it is 
easily changed ; and we have, instead, to become familiar with 
the conception of a human nature that is changed in the slow 
succession of generations by social discipline. Another obstacle 
not to be completely surmounted by any, and to be partially sur- 
m.ounted by but few, is that resulting from the want of intel- 
lectual faculty complex enough to grasp the extremely- complex 
phenomena which Sociology deals with. There can be no com- 
plete conception of a sociological fact, considered as a component 
of Social Science, unless there are present to thought all its 
essential factors ; and the power of keeping them in mind with 
due clearness, as well as in their proper proportions and combi- 
nations, has yet to be reached. Then beyond this difficulty, only 
to be in a measure overcome, there is the further difficulty, not 
however by any means so great, of enlarging the conceptive 
capacity; so that it may admit the widely- divergent and ex- 
tremely-various combinations of social phenomena. That 
rigidity of conception produced in us by experiences of our 
own social life in our own time, has to be exchanged for a 
plasticity that can receive with ease, and accept as natural, the 
oountless combinations of social phenomena utterly unlike, and 
sometimes exactly opposite to, those we are familiar with. 



WitliOTit STicli a plasticity there can be no proper understanding 
of co-existing social states allied to onr o-wn, still less of past 
social states, or social states of alien civilized races and i"aces in 
earlv stages of development. 



That passion perverts judgment, is an observation sufficiently- 
trite ; but the more general observation of wbicb it should form 
part, that emotion, of every kind and degree disturbs the in- 
tellectual balance, is not trite, and even where recognized, is not 
I duly taken into account. Stated in full, the truth is that no 
propositions, save those which are absolutely indifferent to us, 
immediately and remotely, can be contemplated without likings 
and repugnances affecting the opinions we form about them. 
There are two modes in which our conclusions are thus falsified. 
Excited feelings make us wrongly estimate probability ; and 
:hey also make us wrongly estimate importance. Some cases 
will show this. 

All who are old enough, remember the murder committed by 
Miiller on the North London Railway some years ago. Most 
aersons, too, will remember that for some time afterwards there 
ivas universally displayed, a dislike to travelling by railway in 
jompany with . a single other passenger — supposing him to be 
mknown. Though, up to the date of the murder in question, 
;ountless journeys had been made by two strangers together in 
he same compartment without evil being suffered by either — 
hough, after the death of Mr. Briggs, the probabilities were 
mmense against the occurrence of a similar fate to another 
)erson similarly placed ; yet there was habitually aroused a feav 
hat would have been appropriate only had the danger been con- 

j. 2 


siderable. The amount of feeling excited was quite incommen- 
surate with the risk. While the chance was a milHon to one 
against evil, the anticipation of evil was as strong as though the 
chance had been a thousand to one or a hundred to one. The 
emotion of dread destroyed the balance of judgment, and a 
rational estimate of likelihood became impossible ; or rather, a 
rational estimate of likelihood if formed was wholly inoperative 
on conduct. 

Another instance was thrust on my attention during the small- 
pox epidemic, which a while since so unaccountably spread, after 
twenty years of compulsory vaccination. A lady hving in 
London, sharing in the general trepidation, was expressing her 
fears to me. I asked her whether, if she lived in a town of 
twenty thousand inhabitants and heard of one person dying of 
small-pox in the course of a week, she would be much alarmed. 
N^aturally she answei-ed, no ; and her fears were somewhat 
calmed when I pointed out that, taking the whole population of 
London, and the number of deaths per week from small-pox, 
this was about the rate of mortality at that time caused by it. 
Yet in other minds, as in her mind, panic had produced an entire 
incapacity for forming a rational estimate of the peril. Jv'ay, 
indeed, so perturbing was the emotion, that an ujiusual amount 
of danger to life was imagined at a time when the danger to life 
was smaller than usual. For the returns showed that the 
mortality from all causes was rather below the average than 
above it. While the evidence proved that the risk of death was 
less than common, this wave of feeling which spread through 
society produced an irresistible conviction that it was uncommonly 

These examples show in a clear way, what is less clearly shown 
of examples hourly occurring, that the associated ideas constituting 
a judgment, are much affected in their relations to one another 
by the co-existing emotion. Two ideas will cohere feebly or 
strongly, according as the correlative nervous states involve a 
feeble or a strong discharge along the lines of nervous connexion; 


and hence a large wave of feeling, implying as it does a volumi- 
nous discharge in all directions, renders such two ideas more 
coherent. This is so even when the feeling is not relevant to the 
ideas, as is showTi by the vivid recollections of trivialities seen on 
occasions of great excitement ; and it is still more so when the 
feeling is relevant — that is, when the proposition formed by the 
ideas is itself the cause of excitement. Much of the emotion 
tends, in such case, to discharge itself through the channels con- 
necting the elements of the proposition ; and predicate follows 
subject with a persistence out of all propoi-tion to that which is 
justified by experience. 

We see this with emotions of all orders. How greatly maternal 
affection falsifies a mother's opinion of her child, every one 
observes. How those in love fancy superiorities where none are 
visible to unconcerned spectators, and remain, blind to defects 
that are consj)icuous to all others, is matter of common remark. 
Note, too, how, in the holder of a lottery-ticket, hope generates 
a belief utterly at variance with probability as numerically 
estimated; or how an excited inventor confidently expects a 
success which calm judges see to be impossible. That "the 
wish is father to the thought," here so obviously true, is true 
more or less in nearly all cases where there is a wish. And in 
other cases, as where horror is aroused by the fancy of something- 
supernatural, we see that in the absence of wish to believe, there 
may yet arise behef if violent emotion goes along with the ideas 
that are joined together. 

Though there is some recognition of the fact that men's judg- 
ments on social questions are distorted by their emotions, the 
recognition is extremely inadequate. Political passion, class- 
hatred, and feelings of great intensity, are alone admitted to be 
large factors in determining opinions. But, as above imjilied, 
w6 have to take account of emotions of many kinds and of all 
degrees, down to slight likes and dislikes. For, if we look 
closely into our own beliefs on pubhc affairs, as well as iato the 


beliefs of those around us, we find them to be caused mucli more 
by aggregates of feelings than by examinations of evidence, l^o 
one, even if lie tries, succeeds in preventing the slow growth of 
sympathies with, or antipathies to, certain institutions, customs, 
ideas, &c. ; and if he watches himself, he will perceive that un- 
avoidably each new question coming before him, is considered 
in relation to the mass of convictions which have been gradually 
moulded into agTeement with his sympathies and antipathies. 

When the reader has admitted, as he must if he is candid with 
himself, that his opinion on any poHtical act or proposal is 
commonly formed in advance of direct evidence, and that he 
rarely takes the trouble to inquire whether direct evidence 
justifies it ; he will see how great are those difficulties in the way 
of sociological science, which arise from the various emotions 
excited by the matters it deals with. Let us note, first, the 
effects of some emotions of a general kind, which we are apt to 

The state of mind called impatience is one of these. If a man 
swears at some inanimate thing which he cannot adjust as he 
wishes, or if, in wintry weather, slipping down and hurting him- 
self, he vents his anger by damning gravitation ; his folly is 
manifest enough to spectators, and to himself also when his 
irritation has died away. But in the political sphere it is other- 
wise. A man may here, in spirit if not in word, damn a law of 
nature without being himself aware, and without making others 
^ware, of his absurdity. 

The state of feeling often betrayed towards Political Economy 
exemplifies this. An impatience accompanying the vague con- 
sciousness that certain cherished convictions or pet schemes are 
at variance with politico-economical truths, shows itself in con- 
temptuous words applied to these truths. Knowing that his 
theory of government and plans for social reformation are dis- 
countenanced by it, Mr. Carlyle manifests his annoyance by 
calling Political Economy " the dismal science." And among 


otliers tlian liis adherents, there are many belonging to all 
parties, retrograde and progressive, who display repugnance to 
this body of doctrine with which their favourite theories do not 
agree. Tet a little thought might show them that their feeling 
is much of the same kind as would be scorn vented by a perpetual- 
motion schemer against the principles of Mechanics. 

To see that these generalizations which they think of as cold 
and hard, and acceptable only by the unsympathetic, are nothing 
but statements of certain modes of action arising out of human 
natui'e, which are no less beneficent than necessary, they need 
only suppose for a moment that human nature had opposite 
tendencies. Imagine that, instead of preferring to buy things 
at low prices, men habitually preferred to give high pi'ices for 
them ; and imagine that, conversely, sellers rejoiced in getting 
low prices instead of high ones. Is it not obvious that produc- 
tion and distribution and exchange, assuming them possible 
under such conditions, would go on in ways entirely different 
from their present ways ? If men went for each commodity to 
a place where it was difl&cult of produ-ction, instead of going to a 
place where it could be produced easily ; and if instead of trans- 
ferring articles of consumption from one part of a kingdom to 
another along the shortest routes, they habitually chose round- 
about routes, so that the cost in labour and time might be the 
greatest ; is it not clear that, could industrial and commercial 
arrangements of any kinds exist, they would be so unlike the 
present arrangements as to be inconceivable by us ? And if this 
is undeniable, is it not equally undeniable that the processes of 
production, distribution, and exchange, as they now go on, are 
processes determined by certain fundamental traits in human 
nature ; and that Political Economy is nothing more than a 
statement of the laws of these processes as inevitably resulting 
from such traits ? 

That the generaKzations of political economists are not all 
true, and that some, which are true in the main, need qualifica- 
tion, is very likely. But to admit this, is not in the least to 


admit that tliere are no true generalizations of this order to be 
made. Those who see, or fancy they see, flaws in politico- 
economical conclusions, and thereupon sneer at Political Economy, 
remind me of the theologians who lately rejoiced so much over 
the discovery of an error in the estimation of the Sun's distance; 
and thought the occasion so admirable a one for ridiculing men 
of science. It is characteristic of theologians to find a solace in 
whatever shows human imperfection ; and in this case they were 
elated because astronomers discovered that, while their delinea- 
tion of the Solar System remained exactly right in all its pro- 
portions, the absolute dimensions assigned were too great by 
about one-thii'tieth. In one respect, however, the comparison 
fails ; for though the theologians taunted the astronomers, they 
did not ventui'e to include Astronomy within the scope of their 
contempt — did not do as those to whom they are here compared, 
who show contempt, not for political economists only, but for 
Political Economy itself. 

Were they calm, these opponents of the political economists 
would see that as, out of certain physical properties of things 
there inevitably arise certain modes of action, which, as gene- 
ralized, constitute physical science ; so out of the properties of 
men, intellectual and emotional, there inevitably arise certain 
laws of social processes, including, among others, those through 
which mutual aid in satisfying wants is made possible. They 
would see that, but for these processes, the laws of which Poli- 
tical Economy seeks to generalize, men would have continued in 
the lowest stage of barbarism to the present hour. They would 
see that instead of jeering at the science and those who pursue 
it, their course should be to show in what respects the gene- 
ralizations thus far made are untrue, and how they may be so 
expressed as to correspond to the truth more nearly. 

I need not further exemplify the perturbing influence of im- 
patience in sociological inquiry. Along with the irrational hope 
so conspicuously shown by every party having a new project for 
the furtherance of human welfare, there habitually goes this 


irrational irritation in presence of stern truths wh-icli negative 
sanguine anticipations. Be it some way of remedying the evils 
of competition, some scheme for rendering the pressure of popu- 
lation less severe, some method of organizing a government so 
as to secure complete equity, some plan for reforming men by 
teaching, by restriction, by punishment ; anything like calm con- 
sideration of probabilities as estimated from experience, is ex- 
cluded by this eagerness for an immediate result ; and instead of 
submission to the necessities of things, there comes vexation, felt 
if not expressed, against them, or against those who point them 
out, or against both. 

That feelings of love and hate make rational judgments im- 
possible in public a«ffairs, as in private affairs, we can clearly 
enough see in others, though not so clearly in ourselves. Espe- 
cially can we see it when these others belong to an alien society. 
France, during and smce the late war, has furnished us almost 
daily with illustrations. The fact that while the struggle was 
going on, any foreigner in Paris was liable to be seized as a 
Prussian, and that, if charged with being a Prussian, he was 
forthwith treated as one, sufficiently proves that hate makes 
rational estimation of evidence impossible. The marvellous dis- 
tortions which this passion produces were abundantly exemplified 
during the reign of the Commune ; and yet again after the 
Commune was subdued. The " preternatural suspicion," as 
Mr. Carlyle called it, which characterized conduct dui-ing the first 
revolution, characterized conduct during the late catastrophe 
And it is displayed still. The sayings and doings of French 
political parties, alike in the Assembly, in the press, and in 
private societies, show that mutual hate causes mutual misinter- 
pretations, fosters false inferences, and utterly vitiates sociolo- 
gical ideas. 

While, however, it is manifest to us that among our neigh- 
bours, strong sympathies and antipathies make men's views 
unreasonable, we do not perceive that among ourselves sym- 


patliies and antipathies distort judgments in degrees, not perhaps 
so extreme, but still in very great degrees. Instead of French, 
opinion on French affairs, let us take English opinion on French 
affairs — not affairs of recent date, but affairs of the past. And 
instead of a case showing how these feelings falsify the estimates 
of evidence, let us take a case showing how they falsify the esti- 
mates of the relative gravities of evils, and the relative degrees 
of blameworthiness of actions. 

Feudalism had decayed : its benefits had died out and only 
its evils had survived. While the dominant classes no longer 
performed their functions, they continued their exactions and 
maintained their privileges. Seignorial power was exercised 
solely for private benefit, and at every step met the unprivileged 
with vexatious claims and restrictions. The 'peasant was called 
from his heavily-burdened bit of land to work gratis for a 
neighbouring noble, who gave him no protection in return. He 
had to bear uncomplainingly the devouring of his crops by this 
man's game ; to hand him a toll before he could cross the river ; 
to buy from him the liberty to sell at market — nay, such portion 
of grain as he reserved for his own use he could eat only after 
paying for the grinding of it at his seigneur's mill, and for 
having it baked at his bakehouse. And then, added to the 
seignorial exactions, came the exactions of the Church, still more 
mercilessly enforced. Town-life was shackled as much 

as country-life. Manufacturers were hampered by almost in- 
credible restrictions. Government decided on the persons to be 
employed, the articles to be made, the materials to be used, the 
processes to be followed, and the quahties of the products. 
State-officers broke the looms and burnt the goods that were not 
made according to law. Improvements were illegal and in- 
ventors were fined.^ " Taxation was imposed exclusively on the 
industrious classes, and in such a manner as to be an actual 
penalty on production." " The currency had been debased to 
one seventy-third of its original value. " No redress was obtain- 
able for any injmy to property or person when inflicted by people 


of rank or coiu-t influence." ^ And tlie ruling power was upheld 
by " spies, false- witnesses, and pretended plots." Along 

with these local tyrannies and universal abuses and exasperating 
obstacles to living almost beyond belief, there had gone on at 
the governing centre maladministration, corruption, extrava- 
gance : treasures wei-e spent in building vast palaces, and enor- 
mous armies were sacrificed in inexcusable wars. Profuse' ex^ 
penditure, demanding more than could be got from crippled 
industry, had caused a chronic deficit. New taxes on the poor 
workers brought in no money, but only clamoiir and discontent ; 
and to tax the rich idlers proved to be impracticable : the pro- 
posal that the clergy and noblesse should no longer be exempt 
from burdens such as were borne by the people, brought from 
these classes " a shriek of indignation and astonishment." And 
then, to make more conspicuous the worthlessness of the govern- 
ing agencies of all orders, there was the corrupt life led by the 
Court, from the King downwards — France lying " with a har- 
lot's foot on its neck." Passing over the various phases 
of the break-up which ended this intolerable state — phases 
throughout which the dominant classes, good-for-nothing and 
unrepentant, strove to recover their power, and, enlisting foreign 
rulers, brought upon France invading armies — we come presently 
to a time when, mad with anger and fear, the people revenged 
themselves on such of their past tormentors as remained among 
them. Leagued, as many of these were, with those of their 
order who were levying war against liberated France — leagued, 
as many others were supposed to be, with these enemies to the 
Republic at home and abroad — incorrigible as they proved them- 
selves by their plottings and treacheries ; there at length came 
down on them the September massacres and the Reign of Terror, 
during which nearly ten thousand of those implicated, or sup- 
posed to be implicated, were killed or formally executed. The 
Nemesis was sufficiently fearful. Lamentable sufferings and 
death fell on innocent as well as guilty. Hate and des^jair com- 
bined to arouse an undistinguishing cruelty, and, in some of the 


leading actors, a cold-blooded ferocity. Nevertheless, recognizing 
all this — recognizing also the truth that those who wreaked this 
vengeance were intrinsically no better than those on whom it 
was wreaked — we must admit that the bloodshed had its excuse. 
The panic of a people threatened with re-imposition of dreadful 
shackles, was not to be wondered at. That the expected return 
of a time like that in which gaunt figures and haggard faces 
about the towns and the country, indicated the social disorganiza- 
tion, should excite men to a blind fury, was not unnatural. If 
they became frantic at the thought that there was coming back 
a state nnder which there might again be a slaying of hundreds 
of thousands of men in battles fought to gratify the spite of a 
King's concubine, we need not be greatly astonished. And 
some of the hoi'ror expressed at the fate of the ten thousand 
victims, might fitly be reserved for the abom.inations which 
caused it. 

From this partially-excusable bloodshed, over which men 
shudder excessively, let us turn now to the immeasurably- greater 
bloodshed, having no excuse, over which they do not shudder at 
all. Out of the sanguinary chaos of the Revolution, there pre- 
sently rose a soldier whose immense ability, jomed with his 
absolute unscrupulousness, made him now general, now consul, 
now autocrat. He was untruthful in an extreme degree : lying 
in his despatches day by day, never writing a page without bad 
faith,* nay, even giving to others lessons in telling falsehoods.^ 
He professed friendship while plotting to betray ; and quite early 
in his career made the wolf-and-lamb fable his guide. He got 
antagonists into his power by promises of clemency, and then 
executed them. To strike terror, he descended to barbarities 
like those of the bloodthirsty conquerors of old, of whom his 
career reminds us : as in Egypt, when, to avenge fifty of his 
soldiers, he beheaded 2,000 fellahs, thi'owing their headless 
corpses into the Nile ; or as at Jaffa, when 2,600 of the garrison 
who finally surrendered, were, at his order, deliberately mas- 
sacred. Even his own ofiicers, not over-scrupulous, as Ave may 


suppose, were shocked by liis brutality — sometimes refusing to 
execiite bis sanguinary decrees. Indeed, the instincts of the 
savage were scarcely at all qualified in bini by what we call 
moral sentiments ; as we see in his proposal to burn " two or 
three of the larger communes " in La Vendee ; as we see in his 
Avish to introduce bull-fights into France, and to revive the com- 
bats of the Roman arena ; as we see in the cold-blooded sacrifice 
of his own soldiers, when he ordered a useless outpost attack 
m.erely that his mistress might witness an engagement ! That 
such a man should have prompted the individual killing of lead- 
ing antagonists, and set prices on their heads, as in. the cases of 
Mourad-Bey and Count Frotte, and that to remove the Due 
d'Enghien he should have committed a crime like in its character 
to that of one who hires a bravo, but unlike by entailing on him 
no danger, was quite natural. It was natural, too, that in addi- 
tion to countless treacheries and breaches of faith in his dealings 
with foreign powers, such a man should play the traitor to his 
own nation, by stamping out its newly-gained free institutions, 
and substituting his own mihtary despotism. Such being 

the nature of the man, and such being a few illustrations of his 
cruelty and unscrupulousness, contemplate now his greater crimes 
and their motives. Year after year he went on sacrificing by 
tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands the French people 
and the people of Europe at large, to gratify his lust of power 
and his hatred of opponents. To feed his insatiable ambition, 
and to crush those who resisted his efforts after universal domi- 
nion, he went on seizing the young men of France, forming army 
after army, that were destroyed in destroying like armies raised 
by neighbouring nations. In the Russian campaign alone, out 
of 552,000 men in Napoleon's army left dead or prisoners, but 
few returned home ; while the Russian force of more than 
200,000 was reduced to 30,000 or 40,000 : implying a total sacri- 
fice of considerably more than half-a-million lives. And when 
the mortality on both sides by death in battle, by wounds, and 
by disease, throughout the Napoleonic campaigns is summed up, 



it exceeds at the lowest corapTitation two millions.* And all 
this slaughter, all this suffering, all this devastation, was gone 
through because one man had a restless desire to be despot over 
all men. 

What has been thought and felt in England about the two 
sets of events above contrasted, and about the actors in them ? 
The bloodshed of the Revolution has been spoken of with words 
of horror ; and for those who wrought it there has been unquali- 
fied bate. About the enormously-greater bloodshed which these 
wars of the Consulate and the Empire entailed, little or no horror 
is expressed ; while the feeling towards the modern Attila who 
was guilty of this bloodshed, is shown by decorating rooms with 
portraits and busts of him. See the beliefs which these respec- 
tive feelings imply : — 

Over ten thousand deaths we 
may fitly shudder and lament. 

As the ten thousand were 
slain because of the tyrannies, 
cruelties, and treacheries, com- 
mitted by them or their class, 
their deaths are very pitiable. 

The sufferings of the ten 
thousand and of their relatives, 
who expiated their OAvn mis- 
deeds and the misdeeds of their 
class, may fitly form subjects 
for heart-rending stories and 
pathetic pictures. 

That despair and the indig- 
nation of a betrayed people, 
brought about this slaughter of 
ten thousand, makes the atro- 
city without palliation. 

Two million deaths call for 
no shuddering or lamentation. 

As the two millions, innocent 
of offence, were taken by force 
from classes already oppressed 
and impoverislied, the slaughter 
of them need excite no pity. 

There is nothing heart-rend- 
ing in the sufferings of the two 
millions who died for no crimes 
of their own or their class ; 
nor is there anything pathetic 
in the -fates of the families 
throughout Europe, from which 
the tAvo millions were taken. 

That one vile man's lust of 
power was gratified through 
the deaths of the two millions, 
greatly palliates the sacrifice of 
These are the antithetical propositions tacitly implied in the 


opinions that have been current in England ahout the French 
Revolution and the ^Napoleonic vyars. Only by acceptance of 
such propositions can these opinions be defended. Such have 
been the emotions of men that, until quite recently, it has been 
the habit to speak with detestation of the one set of events, and 
to speak of the other set of events in words betraying admira- 
tion. Nay, even now these feelings are but partially quahfied. 
While the names of the leading actors in the Reign of Terror are 
names of execration, we speak of l^apoleon as " the Great," and 
Englishmen worship him by visiting his tomb and taking off 
their hats ! 

How, then, with such perverting emotions, is it possible to 
take rational views of sociological facts ? Forming, as men do, 
such astoundingly-false conceptions of the relative amounts of 
evils and the relative characters of motives, how can they judge 
truly among institutions and actions, past or present ? Clearly, 
minds thus swayed by disproportionate hates and admirations, 
cannot frame those balanced conclusions respecting social pheno- 
mena which alone constitute Social Science. 

The sentiment which thus vents itself in horror at bad deeds 
for which there was much excuse, while to deeds incomparably 
more di-eadful and without excuse, it gives applause very slightly 
qualified with blame, is a sentiment which, among other effects, 
marvellously perverts men's political conceptions. This awe of 
power, by the help of which social subordination has been, and 
still is, chiefly maiutaiaed — this feeling which dehghts to con- 
template the imposing, be it in military successes, or be it in the 
grand pageantries, the sounding titles, and the sumptuous modes 
of living that imply supreme authority — this feeling which is 
offended by outbreaks of insubordination and acts or words of 
the kind called disloyal ; is a f eehng that inevitably generates 
delusions respecting governments, their capacities, their achieve- 
ments. It transfigures them and all their belongings ; as does 
every strong emotion the objects towards which it is di'awn out 


Just as maternal love, idealizing offspring, sees perfections bu. 
not defects, and believes in the future good behaviour of a worth- 
less son, notwithstanding countless broken promises of amend- 
ment; so this power-worship idealizes the State, as embodied 
either in a despot, or in king, lords, and commons, or in a reimb- 
lican assembly, and continually hopes in spite of continual dis- 

How awe of power sways men's political beliefs, will be per- 
ceived on observing how it sways their religious beliefs. We 
shall best see this by taking an instance supplied by a people 
whose religious ideas are extremely crude. Here is an abstract 
of a description given by Captain Burton : — 

" A pot of oil with a lighted wick was placed every night by the 
half-bred Portuguese Indians, before the painted doll, the jjatron saint 
of the boat in which we sailed from Goa. One evening, as the weather 
appeared likely to he squally, we observed that the usual compliment 
was not offered to the patron, and had the curiosity to inquire why. 
' Wliy ?' vociferated the tindal [captain], indignantly, ' if that chap can't 
keep the sky clear, he shall have neither oil nor wick from me, d — u 
him ! ' ' But I should have supposed that in the hour of danger you 
would have paid him more than usual attention ? ' ' The fact is. Sahib, 
I have found out that the fellow is not worth his salt : the last time we 
had an infernal squall with him on board, and if he does not keep this 
one oft", I'll just throw him overboard, and take to Santa Caterina ; hang 
me, if I don't —the brother-in-law !'" [brother-in-law, a common term 
of insult].'' 

By us it is scarcely imaginable that men should thus behave to 
their gods and demi-gods — should pi'ay to them, should insult and 
sometimes whip them for not answering then* prayers, and then 
should presently pray to them again. Let us pause before we laugh. 
Though in the sphere of religion our conduct docs not betray such 
a contradiction, yet a contradiction essentially similar is betrayed 
by our conduct in the political sphere. Perpetual disappointment 
does not here cui'e us of perpetual expectation. Conceiving the 
State-agency as though it were something more than a cluster 
of men (a few clever, many ordinary, and some decidedly stupid), 


•we ascribe to it marvellous powers of doing multitudinous tMngs 
■vvhicli men otherwise clustered are unable to do. We petition it 
to procure for us in some way whicb we do not doubt it can find, 
benefits of all orders ; and pray it with unfaltering faith to 
secure us from every fresh evil. Time after time our hopes are 
balked. The good is not obtained, or something bad comes 
along with it ; the evil is not cured, or some other evil as great 
or greater is produced. Our journals, daily and weekly, general 
and local, perpetually find failures to dilate upon : now blaming, 
and now ridiculing, first this department and then that. And 
yet, though the rectification of blunders, administrative and legis- 
lative, is a main part of public business — though the time of the 
Legislature is chiefly occupied in amending and again amending, 
until, after the many mischiefs implied by these needs for amend- 
ments, there often comes at last repeal ; yet from day to day 
increasing numbers of wishes are expressed for legal repres- 
sions and State-management. This emotion which is excited by 
the forms of governmental power, and makes governmental 
power possible, is the root of a faith that springs up afresh how- 
over often cut down. To see how little the perennial confidence 
it generates is diminished by perennial disappointment, we need 
but remind .ourselves of a few State-performances in the chief 

On the second page of the first chapter, by way of illustrating 
.iVdmiralty-mismanagement, brief reference was made to three 
avoidable catastrophes which had happened to vessels of war 
within the twelvemonth. Their frequency is further shown by 
the fact that before the next chapter was published, two others 
had occiu-red : the Lord Clyde ran agroimd in the Mediterranean, 
and the Boyal Alfred was seven hours on the Bahama reef. 
And then, more recently still, we have had the colHsion of the 
Northumberland and Hercules at Funchal, and the sinking of a 
vessel at Woolwich by letting a 35-ton gun fall from the slings 
on to her bottom. That the authorities of the N'avy 

commit errors which the merchant service avoids, has been 


repeatedly shown of late, as in times past. It was sliown by 
the disclosure respecting the corrosion of the Glattoiis plates, 
which proved that the Admiralty had not adopted the efficient 
protective methods long used by private shipowners. It was 
shown when the loss of the Ariadne's sailors made us aware 
that a twenty- six gun frigate had not as many boats for saving 
life as are prescribed for a passenger-ship of 400 tons ; and that 
for lowering her boats there was on board neither Kynaston's 
apparatus nor the much better apparatus of Clifford, which 
experience in the merchant service has thoroughly tested. It 
was shown by the non-adoption of Silver's governor for marine 
steam-engines ; long used in private steam-ships to save ma- 
chinery from breakage, but only now being introduced into the 
Navy after machinery has been broken. On going back 

a little, this relative inefficiency of administration is still more 
strikingly shown : — instance the fact that during the Chinese 
expedition of 1841, a mortality at the rate of three or four per 
day in a crew of three hundred, arose from drinking muddy 
water from the paddy-fields, though, either by boiling it or hy 
filtering it through charcoal, much of this mortality might have 
been prevented ; instance the fact that, within the memory of 
living officers (I have it from the mouth of one who had the 
experience), vessels of war leaving Deptford, filled their casks 
with Thames-water taken at ebb-tide, which water, during its 
subsequent period of putrefaction, had to be filtered through 
handkerchiefs before drinking, and then swallowed while holding 
the nose ; or instance the accumulation of abominable abuses and 
malversations and tyrannies which produced the mutiny at Spit- 
head. But, perhaps, of all such illustrations, the most 
striking is that vphich the treatment of scurvy furnishes. It was 
in 1593 that sour juices were first recommended by Albertus ; 
and in the same year Sir R. Hawkins cured his crew of scurvy 
by lemon- juice. In 1600 Commodore Lancaster, who took out 
the first squadron of the East India Company's ships, kept the 
crew of his own ship in perfect health by lemon-juice, while the 


crews of the three accompanying ships were so disabled that he 
had to send his men on board to set their sails. In IG3G this 
remedy was again recommended in medical works on scurvy. 
Admii'al Wagner, commanding our fleet in the Baltic in 1726, 
unce more showed it to be a specific. In 1757 Dr. Lind, the 
physician to the naval hospital at Haslar, collected and published 
in an elaborate work, these and many other proofs of its efiicacy. 
Nevertheless, scurvy continued to carry o& thousands of oiu' 
sailors. In 1780, 2,400 in the Channel Fleet were affected by 
it; and in 1795 the safety of the Channel Fleet was endangered 
by it. At length, in that year, the Admii'alty ordered a regular 
supply of lemon-juice to the navy. Thus two centui'ies after the 
remedy was known, and forty years after a chief medical officer 
of the Government had given conclusive evidence of its worth, 
the Admiralty, forced thereto by an exacerbation of the evil, first 
moved in the matter. And what had been the effect of this 
amazing perversity of officialism ? The mortality from scurvy 
during this long period had exceeded the mortality by ba ttles, 
wrecks, and all casualties of sea-life put together ! * 

How, thi'ough military administration there has all along run, 
and still rims, a kindred stupidity and obstructiveness, pages of 
examples might be accumulated to show. The debates pending 
the abolition of the purchase- system furnish many ; the accounts 
of life at Aldershot and of autumn manoeuvres fui'nish many ; 
and many might be added in the shape of protests like those 
made against martinet riding-regulations, which entail rupture«s 
on the soldiers, and against " our ridiculous drill-book," as in- 
dependent officers are now agreeing to call it. Even limiting 
ourselves to sanitary administi^tion in the army, the files of our 
journals and the reports of our commissions would yield multi- 
tudinous instances of scarcely-credible bungling — as in bad 
barrack-arrangements, of which we heard so much a few years 
ago ; as in an absurd style of dress, such as that which led to the 
wholesale cutting-down of the Twelfth Cameronians when they 
arrived in China in 1841 ; as in the carelessness which lately 

M 2 


caused the immense mortality by cholera among the 18th Hnssars 
at Secnnderabad, where, spite of medical protests repeated ever 
since 1818, soldiers have continued to be lodged in barracks that 
had "throughout India an infamous notoriety."' Or, not further 
to multiply instances, take the loug-continued ignoring of 
ipecacuanha as a specific for dysentery, which causes so much 
mortality in our Indian Service : — 

" It is a singular fact, that the introducers of the ipecacuanha into 
European practice, the Brazilian traveller !Marcgrav, and the physician 
Piso (in 1648), explicitly stated that the powder is a specific cure for 
dysentery, in doses of a drachm and upwards ; but that this information 
appears never to have been acted upon till 1813, when Surgeon G. 
Playfair, of the East Indian Company's service, wrote testifying to its 
use in these doses. Again, in 1831, a number of reports of meiUcal 
officers were published by the Madras Medical Board, sho'W'ing its gTeat 
effects in homly doses of five grains, till frequently 100 gi-ains were 
given in a short period ; testimony which, notviathstanding its weight, 
was doomed to be similarly overlooked, till qiute recently, when it ha? 
been again brought directly under the notice of the Indian Govenmient, 
which is making very vigorous efforts to introduce the cidtiue of the 
plant into suitable districts of India." ^^ 

So that, notwithstanding the gravity of the evil, and the 
pressing need for this remedy from time to time thrust on the 
attention of the Indian authorities, nearly sixty years passed 
before the requisite steps were taken.'* 

That the State, which fails to secure the health of men, even 
in its own employ, should fail to secure the health of beasts, 
might perhaps be taken as self-evident : though possibly some, 
comparing the money laid out on stables with the money laid 
out on cottages, might doubt the corollary. Be this as it may, 
however, the recent history of cattle-diseases and of legislation 
to prevent cattle-diseases, yields the same lessons as are yielded 
above. Since 1848 thex-e have been seven Acts of Parliament 
bearing the general titles of Contagious Diseases (Animals) Acts. 
]\Ieasures to " stamp out," as the phrase goes, this or that disease, 
have been called for as imperative. Measures have been passed, 


and tlicn, expectation not having been fulfilled, amended measui'es 
have been passed, and then re-amended measures ; so that of late 
no session has gone by without a bill to cure evils which previotis 
bills tried to cure, but did not. JS'otwithstanding the keen 
interest felt by the ruling classes in the success of these measures, 
they have succeeded so ill, that the "foot-and-mouth disease" 
has not been " stamped out," has not even been kej)t in check, 
but dui'iiig the past year has spread alarmingly in various parts 
of the kingdom . Continually the Times has had blaming letters, 
and reports of local meetings called to condemn the existing laws 
and to insist on better. From all quarters there have come 
accounts of ineffective regulations and incapable officials — of 
policemen who do the work of veterinary surgeons — of machinery 
described by Mr. Fleming, veterinary surgeon of the Royal 
Engineers, as "clumsy, disjointed, and inefiicient."^" 

Is it alleged that the goodness of State-agency cannot be 
judged by raeasures so recent, the administration of which is at 
present imperfect ? If so, let us look at that form of State- 
agency which is of most ancient date, and has had the longest 
time for perfecting its adjustments — let us take the Law in 
general, and its administration in general. Needs there do raore 
than name these to remind the reader of the amazing inefiiciency, 
confusion, doubtfulness, delay, which, proverbial from early 
times, continue still ? Of penal statutes alone, which arn. 
assumed to be known by every citizen, 14,408 had been enacted 
fi'om the time of Edward III. down to 1844. As was said by 
Lord Cranworth in the House of Peers, 16th February, 1853, 
the judges were supposed to be acquainted with all these laws, 
but, in fact, no human mind could master them, and ignorance 
had ceased to be a disgrace.^^ To this has to be added the 
accumulation of civil laws, similarly multitudinous, involved, 
unclassified, and to this again the enormous mass of " case law," 
filling over 1200 volumes and rapidly increasing, befoye there 
can be formed an idea of the chaos. Consider next, how 

there has com.e this chaos : out of which not even the highest 


legal functionaries, much less the lower functionaries, much 
less the ordinary citizens, can educe definite conclusions. Ses- 
sion after session the confusion has been worse confounded 
by the passing of separate Acts, and successive amendments 
of Acts, which are left unconnected with the multitudinous 
kindred Acts and amendments that lie scattered through the 
accumulated records of centuries. Suppose a trader should 
make, day by day, separate memoranda of his transactions 
with A, B, C, and the rest of his debtors and creditors. Sup- 
pose he should stick these on a file, one after another as 
they were made, never even putting them in order, much less 
entering them in his ledger. Suppose he should thus go on 
throughout his Hfe, and that, to learn the state of his account 
with A, B, or C, his clerks had to search through this enormous 
confused file of memoranda : being helped only by their me- 
mories and by certain private note-books which preceding clerks 
had made for their own guidance, and left behind them. "What 
would be the state of the business ? What chance would A, B, 
and C have of being rightly dealt with ? Yet this, which, as a 
method of conducting private business, is almost too ludicrous 
for fiction, is in public business nothing more than grave fact. 
And the result of the method is exactly the one to be anticipated. 
Counsel's opinions differing, authorities contradicting one another, 
judges at issue, coui-ts in collision. The conflict extends all 
through the system from top to bottom. Every day's law-reports 
^ remind us that each decision given is so uncertain that the pro- 
bability of appeal depends chiefly on the corn-age or pecuniary 
ability of the beaten litigant — not on the natui-e of the decision ; 
and if the appeal is made, a reversal of the decision is looked 
for as by no means unlikely. And then, on contemplating 

the ultimate effect, we find it to be — the multiplication of 
aofffressions. Were the law clear, were verdicts certain to be in 
conformity with it, and did asking for its protection entail no 
chance of great loss or of ruin, very many of the causes that 
come before our courts would never be heard of, for the reason 


that the wrongs they disclose would not be committed; nor 
would there be committed those yet more numerous wrongs to 
which the bad are prompted by the belief that the persons 
wronged will not dare to seek redress. Here, where State- 
agency has had centuries upon centuries in which to develop its 
appliances and show its efficiency, it is so inefficient that citizens 
dread employing it, lest instead of getting succour in their dis- 
tress they should bring on themselves new sufferings. And 
then — startling comment on the system, if we could but see it ! — 
there spring up private voluntary combinations for doing the 
business which the State should do, but fails to do. Here in 
London there is now proposed a Tribunal of Commerce, for 
administering justice among traders, on the pattern of that 
which in Paris settles eighteen thousand cases a year, at an 
average cost of fifteen shillings each ! 

Even after finding the State perform so ill this vital function, 
one might have expected that it would perform well such a 
simple function as the keeping of documents. Yet, in the cus- 
tody of the national records, there has been a carelessness such 
as " no merchant of ordinary prudence " would show in respect to 
his account-books. One portion of these records was for a long 
time kept in the White Tower, close to some tons of gunpowder ; 
and another portion was placed near a steam-engine in daily use. 
Some records were deposited in a temporary shed at the end of 
Westminster Hall, and thence, in 1830, were removed to other 
sheds in the King's Mews, Charing Cross, where, in 1836, their 
state is thus described by the Report of a Select Committee : — 

" In these sheds 4,136 cubic feet of national records were deposited in 
the most neglected condition. Besides the accumulated dust of cen- 
turies, all, when these operations commenced (the investigation into the 
state of the Records), were found to be very damp. Some were in a 
state of inseparable adhesion to the stone walls. There were numerous 
fragments which had only just escaped entire consumption by vermin, 
and many were in the last stage of pvitrefaction. Decay and damp had 
rendered a large quantity so fragile as hardly to admit of being touched ; 
others, particularly those in the form of rolls, were so coagulated 


together that they could not be uncoiled. Six or seven perfect skeletons 
of rats were found imbedded, and bones of these vermin were generally 
distributed throughout the mass," 

Thus if we array in order the facts which are daily brought to 
light, but unhappily drop out of men's memories as fast as others 
ai'e added, we find a like history throughout. Now the complaint 
is of the crumbling walls of the Houses of Parliament, which, 
built of stone chosen by a commission, nevertbeless begin to 
decay in parts first built before other parts are completed. Now 
the scandal is about a new fort at Seaford, based on the shingle 
so close to the sea that a storm washes a great part of it away. 
Now there comes the account of a million and a half spent in 
building the Aldemey barbour, which,' being found worse than 
useless, threatens to entail further cost for its destruction. And 
then there is an astounding disclosure about financial irregu- 
larities in the Post-office and Telegraph departments — a disclo- 
sure sho"ndng that, in 1870-1, two-tbirds of a million having 
been spent by officials without authority, and the offence having- 
been condoned by Parliament, there again occurs, in 1871-2, a 
like unwarranted expenditure of foui'-fifths of a million — a dis- 
closure showing that while the Audit-department disputes a 
charge of sixpence for porterage in a small bill, it lets millions slip 
through its fingers without check.'* Scarcely a journal can bo 
taken up that has not some blunder referred to in a debate, or 
brought to light by a Report, or pointed out in a letter, or com- 
mented ou in a leader. Do I need an illustration ? I take up 
the Times of this morning (November 13) and read that the new 
bankruptcy law, substituted for the bankruptcy laws which 
failed miserably, is administered in rooms so crowded and noisy 
that due care and thought on the part of officials is scarcely 
possible, and, further, that as one part of the court sits in the 
City and another part in Lincoln's Inn, solicitors have often to 
be in both places at the same time. Do I need more illustra- 
tions ? They come in abundance between the day on which 
the foregoing sentence was written and the day (November 20} 


on which I revise it. "Within this short time mismanagement 
has been shown in a treatment of the police that has created a 
m.utiny among them ; in a treatment of government copying, 
clerks that causes them publicly to complain of broken promises ; 
in a treatment of postmen that calls from them disrespectful 
behaviour towards their superiors : all at the same time that 
there is going on the controversy about Park-rules, which have 
been so issued as to evade constitutional principles, and so admi- 
nistered as to bring the law into contempt. Yet as fast 
as there come proofs of mal-administration there come demands 
that administration shall be extended. Here, in the very same 
copy of the Times, are two authorities, Mr. Reed and Sir W. 
Fairbairn, speaking at different meetings, both condemning the 
enormous bungling and consequent loss of life that goes on 
under the existing Grovemment-supervision of vessels, and both 
insisting on "legislation" and "proper inspection" as the reme- 
dies.''^ Just as, in societies made restive by despotism, the 
proposed remedy for the evils and dangers brought aboiit is 
always raore despotism ; just as, along with the failing power of 
a decaying Papacy, there goes, as the only fit cure, a re-assertion 
of Papal infallibility, with emphatic ohhUgato from a Council ; so, 
to set right the misdoings of State-agency, the proposal always 
is more State-agency. When, after long continuance of coal- 
mine inspection, coal-mine explosions keep recurring, the cry is 
for more coal-mine inspection. When railway accidents mul- 
tiply, notwithstanding the oversight of officials appointed by law 
to see that railways are safe, the unhesitating demand is for 
more such ofiicials. Though, as Lord Salisbury lately remarked 
of governing bodies deputed by the State, " they begin by being 
enthusiastic and extravagant, and they are very apt to end in 
being wooden " — thoiigh, through the press and by private con- 
versation, men are perpetually reminded that when it has ceased 
to wield the new broom, each deputy governing power tends to 
become either a king-stork that does mischief, or a king-log that 
does nothing ; yet more deputy governing powers are asked for 


with unwavering faith. While the nnwisdom of officialism is 
daily illustrated, the argument for each proposed new depart- 
ment sets out with the postulate that officials will act wisely. 
After endless comments on the confusion and apathy and delay 
of Government offices, other Government offices are advocated. 
After ceaseless ridicule of red-tape, the petition is for more red- 
tape. Daily we castigate the political idol with a hundred pens, 
and daily pray to it with a thousand tongues. 

The emotion which thus destroys the balance of judgment, lies 
deep in the natures of men as they have been and still are. This 
root out of which there grow hopes that are no sooner blighted 
than kindred hopes grow up in their places, is a root reaching 
down to the lowest stages in civilization. The conquering chief, 
feared, marvelled at, for his strength or sagacity — distinguished 
from others by a quality thought of as supernatui'al (when the 
antithesis of this with natural becomes thinkable), ever excites a 
disproportionate faith and expectation. Having done or seen 
thiags beyond the power or insight of inferiors, there is no 
knowing what other things he may not do or see. After death 
his deeds become magnified by tradition ; and his successor, 
inheriting his authority, executing his commands, and keeping 
up secret communication with him, acquires either thus, or by 
his own superiority, or by both, a like credit for powers that 
transcend the ordiuary human powers. So there accumulates 
an awe of the ruler, with its correlative faith. On tracing the 
genealogy of the governing agent, thus beginning as god, and 
descendant of the gods, and having titles and a worship in 
oommon with the gods, we see there clings to it, thi-ough all its 
successive metamorphoses, more or less of this same ascribed 
character, exciting this same sentiment. " Divinely descended " 
becomes presently " divinely appointed," " the Lord's anointed," 
"ruler by divine right," "king by the grace of God," &c. And 
then as fast as declining monarchical power brings with it 
decreasing belief in the supernaturalncss of the monarch (which. 


however, long lingers in faint forms, as instance the supposed 
cure of king's evil), the growing powers of the bodies that 
assume his functions bring to them a share of the still- surviving 
sentiment. The "divinity that doth hedge a king" becomes, in 
considerable measure, the divinity that doth hedge a parliament. 
The superstitious reverence once felt towards the one, is trans- 
ferred, in a modified form, to the other ; taking with it a tacit 
belief in an ability to achieve any end that may be wished, and a 
tacit belief in an authority to which no limits may be set. 

This sentiment, inherited and cultivated in men from child- 
hood upwards, sways their convictions in spite of them. It 
generates an iiTational confidence in all the paraphernalia and 
appliances and forms of State-action. In the very aspect of a 
law-deed, written in an archaic hand on dingy parchment, there 
is something which raises a conception of validity not raised by 
ordinary writing on paper. Around a Government- stamp there 
is a certain glamour which makes us feel as though the piece of 
paper bearing it was more than a mere mass of dry pulp with 
some indented marks. To any legal form of words there seems 
to attach an authority greater than that which would be felt 
were the language free from legal involutions and legal techni- 
calities. And so is it with all the symbols of authority, from 
royal pageants downwards. That the judge's wig gives to his 
decisions a weight and sacredness they would not have wei^e he 
bare-headed, is a fact familiar to every one. And when we 
descend to the lowest agents of the executive organization, we 
find the aame thing. A man in blue coat and white-metal 
buttons, which carry with them the thought of State-authority, 
is habitually regarded by citizens as having a trustworthiness 
beyond that of a man who wears no such uniform ; and this 
confidence smwives all disproofs. Obviously, then, if men's 
judgments are thus ridiculously swayed, notwithstanding better 
knowledge, by the mere symbols of State-power, still more must 
they be so swayed by State-power itself, as exercised in ways 
that leave greater scope for the imagination. If awe and faith 


are iiTesistibly called out towards ttings whict perception and 
reason tell us positively should not call tliem out, still more will 
awe and iuth. be called out towards those State-actions and 
influences on which perception and reason can less easily be 
brought to bear. If the beliefs prompted by this feeling of 
reverence survive even where they are flatly contradicted by 
common sense, still more will they survive where common sense 
cannot flatly contradict them. 

How deeply rooted is this sentiment excited in men by em- 
bodied supremacy, will be seen on noting how it sways in 
com m on all orders of politicians, from the old-world Tory to the 
Red Republican. Contrasted as the extreme parties are in the 
types of Grovernment they approve, and in the theories they hold 
respecting the source of governmental authority, they are alike 
in theii' unquestioning belief in governmental authority, and in 
showing almost unlimited faith in the ability of a Grovernment 
to achieve any desired end. Though the form of the agency to- 
wards which the sentiment of loyalty is directed, is much 
changed, yet there is little change in the sentiment itself, or in 
the general conceptions it creates. The notion of the divine 
right of a person, has given place to the notion of the divine 
right of a representative assembly. While it is held to be a self- 
evident falsity that the single will of a despot can justly over- 
ride the wills of a people, it is held to be a self-evident ti"uth 
that the wills of one-half of a people plus some small fraction, 
may with perfect justice override the ■wills of the other half 
minus this small fraction — may override them in respect of any 
matter whatever. Unlimited authority of a majority has been 
substituted for unlimited authority of an individual. So un- 
questioning is the belief in this imlimited authority of a majority, 
that even the tacit suggestion of a doubt produces astonishment. 
True, if of one who holds that power deputed by the people is 
subject to no restrictions, you ask whether, if the majority de- 
cided that no person should be allowed to live beyond sixty, the 
decision might be legitimately executed, he would possibly 


hesitate. Or if you asked him whether the majority, being 
Catholic, might rightly require of the Protestant minority that 
they shonlcl either embrace Catholicism or leave the country, he 
would, influenced by the ideas of religious liberty in which he 
has been brought up, probably say no. But though his answers 
to sundry such questions disclose the fact that State-authority, 
even when uttering the national will, is not believed by him to 
be absolutely supreme ; his latent conviction that there are limits 
to it, lies so remote in the obsciire backgTouiid of his conscious- 
ness as to be practically non-existent. In all he says about what 
a Legislature should do, or forbid, or require, he tacitly assumes 
that any regulation may be enacted, and when enacted must be 
obeyed. And then, along with this authority not to be gainsaid, 
he believes in a capacity not to be doubted. Whatever the 
governing body decides to do, can be done, is the postulate which 
hes hidden in the schemes of the most revolutionary reformers. 
Analyze the programme of the Communalists, observe what is 
hoped for by the adherents of the Social and Democratic Re- 
public, or study the ideas of legislative action which oui* own 
Trades-Unionists entertain, and you find the implied belief to be 
that a Government, organized after an approved pattern, will be 
able to remedy all the evils complained of and to secure each 
proposed benefit. 

Thus, the emotion excited by embodied power is one which 
sways, and indeed mainly determines, the beliefs, not only of 
those classed as the most subordinate, but even of those classed 
as the most insuboruiuate. It has a deeper origin than any 
poKtical creed ; and it more or less distorts the conceptions of 
all parties respecting governmental action. 

This sentiment of loyalty, making it almost impossible to study 
the natures and actions of governing agencies with perfect calm- 
ness, greatly hinders sociological science, and must long continue 
to hinder it. For the sentiment is all-essential. Throughout 
the past, societies have been mainly held together by it. It is 


still an indispensable aid to social cohesion and tlie maintcT.ance 
of order. And it will be long before social discipline has so far 
modified human character, that reverence for law, as rootsd in 
the moral order of things, will serve in place of reverence for the 
power which enforces law. 

Accounts of existing uncivilized races, as well as histories of 
the civilized races, show us d, posteriori, what we might infer 
with certainty d priori, that in proportion as the members of a 
society are aggressive in their natures, they can be held together 
only by a proportionately-strong feeling of unreasoning reverence 
for a ruler. Some of the lowest types of men, who show but 
little of this feeling, show scarcely any social cohesion, and make 
no progress — instance the Austrahans. Where appreciable social 
development has taken place, we find subordination to chiefs ; 
and, as the society enlarges, to a king. If we need an illustra- 
tion that where there is great savageness, social union can be 
maiataiued only by great loyalty, we have it among those 
ferocious cannibals, the Tijians. Here, where the barbarism is 
so extreme that a late king registered by a row of many hundred 
stones the number of human victims he had devoured, the loyalty 
is so extreme that a man stands unbound to be knocked on the 
head if the king wills it : himself saying that the king's will 
must be done. And if, with this case in mind, we glance back 
over the past, and note the fealty that went along with brutality 
in feudal ages ; or if, at the present time, we observe how the 
least advanced European nations show a superstitious awe of the 
ruler which in the more advanced has become conventional 
respect ; we shall perceive that decrease of the f eehng goes on, and 
can normally go on, only as fast as the fitness of men for social 
co-operation increases. Manifestly, throughout all past time, 
assemblages of men in whom the aggressive selfishness of the 
predatory nature existed without this feeling which induces 
obedience to a controlling power, dissolved and disappeared : 
leaving the Avorld to be peopled by men who had the required 
emotional balance. And it is manifest that even in a civilized 


society, if the sentiment of subordination becomes enfeebled 
without self-control gaining in strength proportionately, there 
arises a danger of social dissolution : a truth of which France 
supplies an illustration. 

Hence, as above said, the conceptions of sociological pheno- 
m.ena, or, at least, of those all-important ones relating to govern- 
m.ental structures and actions, must now, and for a long time to 
come, be rendered more or less untrue by this perturbing emotion. 
Here, in the concrete, may be recognized the truth before stated 
in the abstract, that the individual citizen, imbedded in the social 
organism as one of its iinits, moulded by its influences, and aid- 
ing reciprocally to re-mould it, furthering its life while enabled 
by it to Kve, cannot so emancipate himself as to see things 
around him in their real relations. Unless the mass of citizens 
have sentiments and beliefs in something like harmony with the 
social organization in which they are incorporated, this organiza- 
tion cannot continue. The sentiments proper to each type of 
society inevitably sway the sociological conclusions of its units. 
And among other sentiments, this awe of embodied power takes 
a large share in doing this. 

How large a share it takes, we shall see on contemplating the 
astonishingly-perverted estimates of rulers it has produced, and 
the resulting perversions of history. Recall the titles of adora- 
tion given to emperors and kings ; the ascription to them of 
capacities, beauties, powers, virtues, transcending those of man- 
kind in general ; the fulsome flatteries used when commending 
them to God in prayers professing to utter the truth. Now, side 
by side with these, put records of their deeds throughout all past 
times in all nations ; notice how these records are blackened with 
crimes of all orders ; and then dwell awhile on the contrast. Is 
it not manifest that the conceptions of State-actions that went 
along with these profoundly- untrue conceptions of rulers, must 
also have been profoundly untrue ? Take, as a single example, 
King James, who, as described by !Mr. Bisset in agreement with 


other historians, was " in every relation of life in which he i.- 
viewed . . . equally an object of aversion or contempt;" but to 
whom, nevertheless, the Enghsh translation of the Bible is 
dedicated in sentences beginning — " Glreat and manifold were 
the blessings, most dread sovereign, which Almighty God, the 
Father of all mercies, bestowed upon us the people of England, 
when first He sent Your Majesty's Royal Person to rule and 
reign over us," &c., &c. Think of such a dedication of such a 
book to such a man ; and then ask if, along with a sentimenc 
thus expressing itself, there could go anything like balanced 
judgments of political transactions. 

Does there need an illustration of the extent to which balanced 
judgments of political transactions are made impossible by this 
sentiment during times when it is strong ? We have one in the 
warped conceptions formed respecting Charles^I. and Cromwell, 
and respecting the changes with which their names are identified. 
ITow that many generations have gone by, and it begins to be 
seen that Charles was not worthy to be prayed for as a martyr, 
while Cromwell deserved treatment quite unlike that of ex- 
huming his body and insulting it ; it begins to be seen also, how 
utterly wrong have been the interpretations of the events these 
two rulers took part in, and how entirely men's sentiments of 
loyalty have incapacitated them for understanding those events 
under their sociological aspects. 

Naming this as an instance of the more special perverting effects 
of this sentiment, we have here chiefly to note its more general 
perverting effects. From the beginning it has tended ever to 
keep in the foreground of consciousness, the governing agent as 
causing social phenomena ; and so has kept in the background 
of consciotisness all other causes of social phenomena — or rather, 
the one has so completely occupied consciousness as to exclude 
the other. If we remember that history has been full of the 
doino"s of kings, but that only in quite recent times have the 
phenomena of industrial organization, conspicuoiTS as they are, 
attracted any attention, — if we remember that while all eyes anrl 


all ttonglits have been turned to the actions of rnlers, no eyes 
and no thoughts have, until modem days, been turned to those 
vital processes of spontaneous co-operation by which national 
life, and growth, and progress, have been carried on ; we shall 
not fail to see how profound have been the resulting errors in 
men's conclusions about social aifairs. And seeing this, we shall 
infer that the emotion excited in men by embodied political 
power must now, and for a long time to come, be a great obstacle 
to the formation of true sociological conceptions : tending, as it 
m.ust ever do, to exaggerate the importance of the political factor 
in comparison with other factors- 

Under the title of " Subjective Difficulties — Emotional," I 
have here entered upon an extensive field, the greater part of 
which remains to be explored. The effects of impatience, the 
effects of that all-glorifying admiration felt for military success, 
the effects of that sentiment which makes men submit to 
authority by keeping up a superstitious awe of the agent 
exercising it, are but a few among the effects which the emotions 
produce on sociological beliefs. Various other effects have now 
to be described and illustrated. I propose to deal with them in 
chapters on — the Educational Bias, the Bias of Patriotism, the 
Class-Bias, the Political Bias, and the Theological Bias. 



It would clear up our ideas about many things, if we dis- 
tinctly recognized tlie truth that we have two religions. Primitive 
humanity has but one. The humanity of the remote future will 
have but one. The two are opposed ; and we who live midway 
in the course of civilization have to believe in both. 

These two religions are adapted to two conflicting sets of social 
requirements. The one set is supreme at the beginning ; the 
other set will be supreme at the end ; and a compromise has to be 
maintained between them during the progress fi'om beginning to 
end. On the one hand, there must be social self-preservation in 
face of external enemies. On the other hand, there must be 
co-operation among fellow-citizens, which can exist only in pro- 
])ortion as fair dealing of man with man creates mutual tnist. 
Unless the one necessity is met, the society disappears by extinc- 
tion, or by absorption into some conquering society. Unless the 
other necessity is met, there cannot be that division of labour, 
exchange of services, consequent industrial progi*ess and increase 
of numbers, by which a society is made strong enough to survive. 
In adjustment to these two conflicting requirements, there grow 
up two conflicting codes of duty ; which sevei'ally acquire super- 
natural sanctions. And thus we get the two coexisting religions 
— the religion of enmity and the religion of amity. 

Of course, I do not mean that these are both called religions. 


Here I am not speaking of names ; I am speaking simply of 
tilings. Nowadays, men do not pay the same verbal liomage to 
the code which enmity dictates that they do to the code which 
amity dictates — the last occupies the place of hononr. But the 
real homage is paid in large measure, if not in the larger measure, 
to the code dictated by enmity. The religion of enmity nearly 
all men actually believe. The religion of amity most of them merely 
believe they believe. In some discussion, say, about international 
affairs, remind them of certain precepts contained in the creed 
they profess, and the most you get is a tepid assent. Now let 
the conversation turn on the "tunding " at Winchester, or on the 
treatment of Indian mutineers, or on the Jamaica business ; and 
you find that while the precepts tepidly assented to w^ere but 
nominally believed, quite opposite precepts are believed undoubt- 
ingly and defended with fervour. 

Curiously enough, to maintain these antagonist religions, 
which in our transitional state are both requisite, we have adopted 
from two different races two different cults. From the books of 
the Jewish New Testament we take our religion of amity. Greek 
and Latin epics and histories serve as gospels for our religion of 
enmity. In the education of our youth we devote a small por- 
tion of time to the one, and a large portion of time to the 
other. And, as though to make the compromise effectual, these 
two cults are carried on in the same places by the same teachers. 
At our Public Schools, as also at many other schools, the same 
men are priests of both religions. The nobihty of self-sacrifice, 
set forth in Scripture-lessons and dwelt on in sermons, is made 
conspicuous every seventh day ; while during the other six days, 
the nobility of sacrificing others is exhibited in glowing words. 
The sacred duty of blood-revenge, which, as existing savages 
show us, constitutes the religion of enmity in its primitive form 
— which, as sho-v\Ti us in ancient hterature, is enforced by divine 
sanction, or rather by divine command, as well as by the opinion 
of men — is the duty which, during the six days, is deeply stamped 
on natures quite ready to receive it ; and then something is done 

N 2 


towards obliterating the stamp, when, on the seventh day, 
vengeance is interdicted. 

A priori, it might be thought impossible that men should con- 
tinue thi'ough life holding two doctrines which are mutually 
destructive. But their ability to compromise between conflicting 
beliefs is very remarkable — remarkable, at least, if we suppose 
them to put their conflicting beliefs side by side ; not so remark- 
able if we recognize the fact that they do not put them side by 
side. A late distinguished physicist, whose science and religion 
seemed to his fi'iends irreconcilable, retained both for the reason 
that he deliberately refused to compare the propositions of the 
one with those of the other. To speak in metaphor — when he 
entered his oratory he shut the door of his laboratory ; and when 
he entered his laboratory he shut the door of his oratory. It is 
because they habitually do something similar, that men live so 
contentedly under this logically-indefensible compromise between 
then" two creeds. As the intelligent child, propounding to his 
seniors puzzling theological questions, and meeting many rebuffs, 
eventually ceases to think about difficulties of which he can get 
no solutions ; so, a little later, the contradictions between the 
things taught to him in school and in chui'ch, at first startling and 
inexplicable, become by-and-by familiar, and no longer attract 
his attention. Thus while growing up he acquires, in common 
with all around him, the habit of using first one and then the 
other of his creeds as the occasion demands ; and at maturity the 
habit has become completely established. iNow he enlarges on 
the need for maintaining the national honour, and thinks it mean 
to arbitrate about an aggression instead of avenging it by war ; 
and now, calling his servants together, he reads a prayer in which 
he asks God that our trespasses may be forgiven as we forgive 
trespasses against us. That which he prays for as a virtue on 
Sunday, he scorns as a vice on Monday. 

The religion of amity and the religion of enmity, with the 
emotions they respectively enlist, are important factors in socio- 
logical conclusions ; and rational sociological conclusions can be 


produced only when both sets of factors come into play. We 
have to look at each cluster of social facts as a phase in a con- 
tinuous metamorphosis. "We have to look at the conflicting 
religious beliefs and feelings included in this cluster of facts as 
elements in this phase. We have to do more. We have to con- 
sider as transitional, also, the conflicting religious beliefs and 
feelings in which we are brought up, and which distort our views 
not only of passing phenomena in our own society, but also of 
phenomena in other societies and in other times ; and the aberra- 
tions they cause in our inferences have to be sought for and 
rectified. Of these two religions taught us, we must constantly 
remember that during civilization the religion of enmity is slowly 
losing strength, while the religion of amity is slowly gain- 
ing strength. We must bear in mind that at each stage a 
certain ratio between them has to be maintained. We must 
infer that the existing ratio is only a temporary one ; and that the 
resulting bias to this or that conviction respecting social alfau'S is 
temporary. And if we are to reach those unbiassed convictions 
which form parts of the Social Science, we can do it only by 
allowing for this temporaiy bias. 

To see how greatly our opposite religions respectively pervert 
sociological beliefs, and how needful it is that the opposite per- 
versions they cause should be corrected, we must here contem- 
plate the extremes to which men are carried, now by the one and 
now by the other. 

As fi'om antagonist physical forces, as from antagonist 
emotions in each man, so from the antagonist social tendencies 
men's emotions create, there always results, not a medium, state, 
Ijut a rhythm between opposite states. The one force or tendency 
is not continuously counterbalanced by the other force or tendency; 
but now the one greatly predominates, and presently by reaction 
there comes a predominance of the other. That which we 
are shoAvn by variations in the jirices of stocks, shares, or com- 
modities, occiUTuig daily, weekly, and in longer intervals — that 


wHch "we see in the alternations of manias and panics, caused 
by irrational hopes and absni'd fears — that which, diagi-ams of thee^o 
variations express by the ascents and descents of a line, now to a 
great height and now to an equivalent depth, we discover in all 
social phenomena, moral and religious included. It is exhibited 
on a large scale and on a small scale — by rhythms extending over 
centuries and by rhythms of short periods. And we see it not 
only in waves of conflicting feelings and opinions that pass through 
societies as wholes, but also in the opposite excesses gone to by 
individuals and sects in the same society at the same time. There 
is nowhere a balanced judgment and a balanced action, but 
always a cancelling of one another by contrary errors : " men 
pair off in insane parties," as Emerson puts it. Something like 
rationality is finally obtained as a product of mutually-destructive 
irrationalities. As for example, in the treatment of oui' criminals, 
there alternate, or co-exist, an uni-easoning severity and an un- 
reasoning lenity. Kow we punish in a spirit of vengeance ; now 
we pamper with a maudlin sympathy. At no time is there a due 
adjustment of penalty to transgi-ession siich as the course of nature 
shows us — an inflicting of neither more nor less evil than the 
reaction which the action causes. 

In the conflict between our two religions we see this general 
law on a gi-eat scale. The religion of unqualified altruism arose 
to coiTect by an opposite excess the religion of unqualified 
ecroism. Against the doctrine of entire selfishness it set the 
doctrine of entire self-sacrifice. In place of the aboriginal creed 
not requu'ing you to love yotir fellow-man at all, but insisting 
only that certain of your fellow-men you shall hate even to the 
death, there came a creed directing that you shall in no case do' 
anything prompted by hate of your fellow-man, but shall love him 
as yourself. Nineteen centuries have since wrought some com- 
promise between these opposite creeds. It has never been rational, 
however, but only empirical — mainly, indeed, unconscious com- 
promise. There is not yet a distinct recognition of what trutli 
each extreme stands for, and a perception that the two truths 


must be co-ordinated ; but there is little more tban a partial 
rectifying of excesses one way by excesses the other way. By 
these persons purely-egoistic lives are led. By those, altruism 
is carried to the extent of bringing on ill health and .premature 
death. Even on comparing the acts of the same individual, we 
find, not an habitual balance between the two tendencies, but now 
an effort to inflict great evil on some foreign aggressor or some 
malefactor at home, and now a disproportioned sacrifice on behalf 
of one often quite unworthy of it. That altruism is right, but 
that egoism is also right, and that there requires a continual com- 
promise between the two, is a conclusion which but few consciously 
formulate and still fewer avow. 

Yet the untenability of the doctrine of self-sacrifice in its 
extreme form is conspicuous enough ; and is tacitly admitted 
by all in their ordinary inferences and daily actions. Work, 
enterprise, invention, improvement, as they have gone on from 
the beginning and are going on now, arise out of the principle 
that among citizens severally having unsatisfied wants, each 
cares more to satisfy his own wants than to satisfy the wants of 
others. The fact that industrial activities grow from this root, 
being recognized, the inevitable implication is that unqualified 
altruism would dissolve all existing social organizations : leaving 
the onus of proof that absolutely-alien social organizations would 
act. That they would not act becomes clear on supposing the 
opposite principle in force. Were A to be careless of himself, 
and to care only for the welfare of B, C, and D, while each of 
these, paying no attention to his own needs, busied himself in 
supplying the needs of the others ; this roundabout process, 
besides being troublesome, would very ill meet the requirements 
of each, unless each could have his neighbour's consciousness. 
After observing this, we must infer that a certain predomi- 
nance of egoism over altruism is beneficial ; and that in fact no 
other arrangement would answer. Do but ask what would 
happen if, of A, B, C, D, &c., each declined to have a gratifica- 
tion in his anxiety that some one else should have it, and that 


the someone else similarly persisted in refusing it out of sym- 
pathy with his fellows — do but contemplate the resulting con- 
fusion and cross-purposes and loss of gratification to all, and you 
will see that pure altruism would bring things to a deadlock just 
as much as pure egoism. In truth nobody ever dreams of acting 
out the altruistic theory in all the relations of life. The Quaker 
who proposes to accept literally, and to practise, the precepts of 
Christianity, carries on his business on egoistic principles just as 
much as his neighbours. Though, nominally, he holds that ho 
is to take no thought for the morrow, his thought for the morrow 
betrays as distinct an egoism as that of men in general ; and 
he is conscious that to take as much thought for the morrows 
of others, would be ruinous to him and eventually mischievoxis 
to all. 

While, however, no one is entirely altruistic — while no one 
really believes an entirely altruistic Hfe to be practicable, there- 
continues the tacit assertion that conduct ought to be entirely 
altruistic. It does not seem to be suspected that pure altruism 
is actually wrong. Brought iip, as each is, in the nominal accept- 
ance of a creed which wholly subordinates egoism to altruism, 
and gives sundry precepts that are absolutely altruistic, each 
citizen, while ignoring these in his business, and tacitly denying- 
them in various opinions he utters, daily gives to them lip- 
homage, and supposes that acceptance of them is required of him 
though he finds it impossible. Feeling that he cannot call them 
in question without calling in question his religion as a whole, 
he pretends to others and to himself that he beHeves them — 
believes things which in his innermost consciousness he knows he 
does not believe. He professes to think that entire self-sacrifice 
must be right, though dimly conscious that it would be fatal. 

If he had the courage to think out clearly what he vaguely 
discerns, he would discover that self-sacrifice passing a certain 
limit entails evil on all — evil on those for whom sacrifice is made 
as well as on those who make it. While a continual giving-up 
of pleasures and continual submission to pains is physically 


injurious, so that its final outcome is debility, disease, and 
abridgment of life ; the continual acceptance of benefits at the 
expense of a fellow-being is morally injurious. Just as much as 
unselfishness is cultivated by the one, selfishness is cultivated by 
the other. If to surrender a gratification to another is noble, 
readiness to accept the gratification so surrendered is ignoble ; 
and if repetition of the one kind of act is elevating, repetition of 
the other kind of act is degrading. So that though up to a 
certain point altruistic action blesses giver and receiver, beyond 
that point it curses giver and receiver — physically deteriorates 
the one and morally deteriorates the other. Everyone can re- 
member cases where greediness for pleasures, reluctance to take 
trouble, and utter disregard of those around, have been perpe- 
tually increased by unmeasured and ever- ready kindnesses ; while 
the unwise benefactor has sho^vn by languid movements and pale 
face the debility consequent on disregard of self : the outcome of 
the policy being destruction of the worthy in making worse the 

The absui'dity of unqualified altruism becomes, indeed, glaring 
on remembering that it can be extensively practised only if in 
the same society there coexist one moiety altruistic and one 
7iioiety egoistic. Only those who are intensely selfish will allow 
their fellows habitually to behave to them with extreme unselfish- 
ness. If all are duly regardful of others, there are none to accept 
the sacrifices which others are ready to make. If a high degree 
of sympathy characterizes all, no one can be so unsympathetic as 
to let another receive positive or negative injury that he may 
benefit. So that pure altruism in a society implies a nature which 
makes pure altruism impossible, from the absence of those towards 
whom it may be exercised ! 

Equally untenable does the doctrine show itself when looked 
at from another point of view. If life and its gratifications are 
valuable in another, they are equally valuable in self. There is 
no total increase of happiness if only as much is gained by one 
as is lost by another ; and if, as continally happens, the gain is 


not equal to tlie loss — if the recipient, already inferior, is further 
demoralized by habitual acceptance of sacrifices, and so made less 
capable of happiness (which he inevitably is), the total amount 
of happiness is diminished : benefactor and beneficiary are both 

The maintenance of the individuality is thus demonstrably a 
duty. The assertion of personal claims is essential ; both as a 
means to self-happiness, which is a unit in the general happiness, 
and as a means to furthering the general happiness altruistically. 
Resistance to aggression is not simply justifiable but imperative. 
Non-resistance is at variance with altruism and egoism alike. 
The extreme Christian theory, which no one acts upon, which no 
one really believes, but which most tacitly profess and a few 
avowedly profess, is as logically indefensible as it is imprac- 

The religion of amity, then, taken by itself, is incomplete — it 
iveeds supplementing. The doctrines it inculcates and the senti- 
tuents it fosters, arising by reactions against opposite doctrines 
and sentiments, run into extremes the other way. 

Let us now turn to these opposite doctrines and sentiments, 
inculcated and fostered by the religion of enmity, and note the 
excesses to which they run. 

Worthy of highest admiration is the " Tasmanian devil," 
which, fighting to the last gasp, snarls with its dying breath. 
Admirable, too, though less admirable, is our own bull-dog — a 
creature said sometimes to retain its hold even when a limb is 
cut off. To be admired also for their " pluck," perhaps nearly in 
as great a degree, are some of the carnivora, as the lion and the 
tiger ; since when driven to bay they fight against gTcat odds. 
Kor should we forget the game-cock, supplying as it does a word 
of eulogy to the mob of roughs who witness the hanging of a 
murderer, and who half condone his crime if he " dies game." 
Below these animals come mankind ; some of whom, indeed, as 
the American Indians, bear tortures without groaning. And 


then, considerably lower, must be placed tlie civilized man ; 
"vvho, fighting up to a certain point, and bearing considerable 
injiirj, ordinarily yields wben further fighting is useless. 

Is the reader startled by this classification ? Why shoiild he 
be ? It is but a literal application of that standard of worth 
tacitly assumed by most, and by some deliberately avowed. 
Obviously it is the standard of worth believed in by ]\I. Clani- 
betta, who, after bloodshed carried to the extent gf prostrating 
France, lately reproached the French Assembly by saying— 
"You preferred peace to honotir ; you gave five milliards and 
two provinces." And there are not a few among ourselves who 
so thoroughly agree in M. Gambetta's feeling, that this utterance 
of his has gone far to redeem him in their estimation. If the 
reader needs encouragement to side with such, plenty more may 
be found for him. The Staffordshire collier, enjoying the fight- 
ing of dogs when the fighting of men is not to be witnessed, 
would doubtless take the same view. In the slums of White- 
chapel and St. Giles's, among leaders of "the fancy," it is an un- 
hesitating belief that pluck and endurance are the highest of 
attributes ; and probably most readers of Bell's Life in London 
would concur in this belief. Moreover, if he wants further sym- 
pathy to support him, he may find entire races ready to give it ; 
especially that noble race of cannibals, the Fijians, among whom 
bravery is so highly honoured that, on their return from battle, 
the triumphant warriors are met by the women, who place them- 
selves at their unrestricted disposal. So that whoever inclines 
to adopt this measure of superiority will find many to side with 
him— that is, if he likes his company. 

Seriously, is it not amazing that civilized men should especially 
pride themselves on a quality in which they are exceeded by 
inferior varieties of their own race, and still more exceeded by 
inferior animals ? Instead of regarding a man as manly in pro- 
portion as he possesses moral attributes distiuctively human, we 
regard him as manly in proportion as he shows an attribute pos- 
sessed in greater degrees by beings from whom we derive our 


words of contempt. It was lately remarked by Mr. Greg that 
v,e take our point of honour from the prize-ring ; but we do 
worse, — we take our point of honour from beasts. Nay, we take 
it from a beast inferior to those we are familiar with ; for the 
" Tasmanian devil," in structure and intelligence, stands on a 
much lower level of brutality than our lions and buU-dogs. 

That resistance to aggression is to be applauded, and that the 
courage implied by resistance is to be valued and admired, may 
he fully admitted while denying that courage is to be regarded as 
the supreme virtue. A large endowment of it is essential to a 
complete nature ; but so are large endowments of other things 
which we do not therefore make our measures of worth. A 
good body, well grown, well proportioned, and of such quality in 
its tissues as to be enduring, should bring, as it does bring, its 
share of admiration. Admirable, too, in their ways, are good 
stomach and lungs, as well as a vigorous vasctdar system ; for 
without these the power of self-preservation and the power of 
preserving others will fall short. To be a fine animal is, indeed, 
essential to many kinds of achievement ; and courage, which is 
a general index of an organization capable of satisfying the re- 
quirements, is rightly valued for what it implies. Courage is, 
in fact, a feeling that grows by accumulated experiences of 
successful dealings with difficulties and dangers ; and these suc- 
cessful dealings are proofs of competence in strength, agility, 
quickness, endurance, &c. No one ^tII deny that perpetual 
failures, resulting from incapacity of one kind or other, produce 
discouragement ; or that repeated triumphs, which are proofs of 
capacity, so raise the courage that there comes a readiness to 
encounter greater difficulties. The fact that a dose of brandy, by 
stimulating the circulation, produces "Dutch courage," as it is 
called, joined with the fact well known to medical men, that 
heart-disease brings on timidity, are of themselves enough to 
show that bravery is the natural correlative of ability to cope 
with circumstances of peril. But while we are thus taught that, 
in admiring courage, we are admii-ing physical supeiioi'ities and 


tliose superiorities of mental faculty which, give fitness for dealing 
with emergencies, we are also taught that unless we rank as 
suprem.e the bodily powers and those powers which directly 
conduce to self-preservation, we cannot say that courage is the 
highest attribute, and that the degree of it should be our 
standard of honour. 

That an over-estimate of courage is appropriate to our phase of 
civilization may be very true. It is beyond doubt that during 
the struggle for existence among nations, it is needful that men 
should admire extremely the quality without which there can be 
no success in the struggle. While, among neighbouring nations, 
Ave have one in which all the males are trained for war — while 
the sentiment of this nation is such that students slash one ano- 
ther's faces in duels about trifles, and are admu^ed for their scars, 
especially by women — while the military ascendancy it tolerates 
is such that, for ill-usage by soldiers, ordinary citizens have no 
adequate redress — while the government is such that though the 
monarch as head of the Church condemns duelling as irreligious, 
and as head of the Law forbids it as a crime, yet as head of the 
Army he insists on it to the extent of expelling officers who will 
not fight duels — while, I say, we have a neighbouring nation thus 
characterized, something of a kindred character in appliances, 
sentiments, and beliefs, has to be maintained among ourselves. 
When we find another neighbouring nation believing that no 
motive is so high as the love of glory, and no glory so gi-eat as 
that gained by successful war — when we perceive the military 
spirit so pervading this nation that it loves to clothe its children 
in gwasi-mUitary costume — when we find one of its historians 
writing that the French army is the great civilizer, and one of 
its generals lately saying that the army is the soul of France — 
when we see that the vital energies of this nation run mainly to 
teeth and claws, and that it quickly grows new sets of teeth and 
claws in place of those pulled out ; it is needful that we, top, 
should keep our teeth and claws in order, and should maintain 
ideas and feelings adapted to the effectual use of them. There is 


^VO gainsaying the truth that while the predatory instincts con- 
tiniTe prompting nations to rob one another, destructive agencies 
must be met by antagonist destructive agencies ; and that this 
may be done, honour must be given to the men who act as de- 
structive agents, and there must be an exaggerated estimate of 
the attributes which make them efficient. 

It may be needful, therefore, that our boys should be accus- 
tomed to harsh treatment, giving and receiving brutal punish- 
ments without too nice a consideration of their justice. It may 
be that as the Spartans and as the North- American Indians, in 
preparation for warfare, subjected their young men to tortures, 
so should we ; and thus, perhaps, the " education of a gentle- 
man" may properly include giving and receiving " hacking" of 
the shins at foot-ball : boot-toes being purposely made heavy 
that they may inflict greater damage. So, too, it may be well 
that boys should all in turn be subject to the tender mercies of 
elder boys ; with whose thrashings and kickings the masters 
decline to interfere, even though they are sometimes carried to 
the extent of maiming for life. Possibly, also, it is fit that 
each boy should be disciplined in submission to any tyrant who 
may be set over him, by finding that appeal brings additional 
evils. That each should be made callous, morally as well as 
physically, by the bearing of fi'equent wi'ongs, and should be 
made yet more callous when, coming into power, he inflicts 
pimishments as whim or spite prompts, may also be desii'able. 
Nor, perhaps, can we wholly regret that confusion of moral ideas 
which results when breaches of conventional rules bring penalties 
as severe as are brought by acts morally wrong. For war does 
not consist with keen sensitiveness, physical or moral. Re- 
luctance to inflict injury, and reluctance to risk injury, would 
equally render it impossible. Scruples of conscience respecting 
the rectitude of their cause would paralyze officers and soldiers. 
So that a certain brutalization has to be maintained during our 
passing phase of civilization. It may be, indeed, that "the 
Public School spirit," which, as ti'uly said, is carried into our 


public life, is not the most desirable for a free country. It may 
be that early subjection to despotism and early exercise of un- 
controlled power, are not tbe best possible preparations for legis- 
lators. It may be that those who, on the magistrate's bench, 
have to maintain right against might, could be better trained 
than by submission to violence and subsequent exercise of vio- 
lence. And it may be that some other discipline than that of 
the stick, would be desirable for men who officer the press and 
guide public opinion on questions of eqiiity. But, doubtless, 
while national antagonisms continue strong and national defence 
a necessity, there is a fitness in this semi-military discipline, with 
pains and bruises to uphold it. And a duly-adapted code of 
honour has the like defence. 

Here, however, if we are to free ourselves from transitory sen- 
timents and ideas, so as to be capable of framing scientific con- 
ceptions, we must ask what warrant there is for this exaltation 
of the destructive activities and of the qualities implied by them ? 
We must ask how it is possible for men rightly to pride them- 
selves on attributes possessed in higher degrees by creatm'es so 
much lower ? We must consider whether, in the absence of a 
religious justification, there is any ethical justification for the 
idea that the most noble traits are such as cannot be displayed 
without the infliction of pain and death. When we do this, we 
are obliged to admit that the religion of enmity in its unqualified 
form, is as indefensible as the religion of amity in its unqualified 
form. Each proves itself to be one of those insane extremes out 
of which there comes a sane mean by union with its opposite. 
The two religions stand respectively for the claims of self and the 
claims of others. The first religion holds it glorious to resist 
aggression, and, while risking death in doing this, to inflict death 
on enemies. The second religion teaches that the glory is in not 
resisting aggression, and in yielding to enemies while not assert- 
ing the claims of self. A civilized humanity will render either 
glory just as impossible of achievement as its opposite. A dimi- 
nishing egoism and an increasing altruism, must make each of 


these diverse kinds of honour unattainable. For such an advance 
implies a cessation of those aggressions which make possible the 
nobilitj of resistance ; while it implies a refusal to accept those 
sacrifices without which there cannot be the nobihtv of self- 
sacrifice. The two extremes miust cancel ; leaving a moral code 
and a standard of honour free from irrational excesses. Along 
with a latent self-assertion, there will go a readiness to yield to 
others, kept in check by the refusal of others to accept more 
than their due. 

And now, having noted the perversions of thought and senti- 
ment fostered by the religion of amity and the religion of enmity, 
under which we are educated in so chaotic a fashion, let us go on 
to note the ways in which these affect sociological conceptions. 
Certain important truths apt to be shut out fi'om the minds of 
the few who are unduly swayed by the religion of amity, may 
first be set down. 

One of the facts difficult to reconcile with current theories of 
the Universe, is that high organizations throughout the animal 
kingdom habitually serve to aid destruction or to aid escape 
from destruction. If we hold to the ancient view, we must say 
that high organization has been deliberately devised for such 
purposes. If we accept the modem view, we must say that 
high organization has been evolved by the exercise of destruc- 
tive activities during immeasurable periods of the past. Here 
we choose the latter alternative. To the never-ceasing efforts to 
catch and eat, and the never-ceasing endeavours to avoid being 
caught and eaten, is to be ascribed the development of the 
various senses and the various motor organs directed by them. 
The bird of prey with the keenest vision, has, other things equal, 
survived when members of its species that did not see so far, died 
from want of food ; and by such survivals, keenness of vision 
has been made greater in course of generations. The fleetest 
members of a herbivorous herd, escaping when the slower fell 
victims to a carnivore, left posterity ; among which, again, those 


"vvith the most perfectly-adapted limbs survived : tlie carnivores 
themselves being at the same time similarly disciplined and their 
speed increased. So, too, with intelligence. Sagacity that de- 
tected a danger which stupidity did not perceive, lived and pro- 
pagated ; and the cunning which hit upon a new deception, and 
so secured prey not otherwise to be caught, left posterity where a 
smaller endowment of cunning failed. This mutual perfecting 
of pursuer and pursued, acting upon their entire organizations, 
has been going on thi'oughout all time ; and human beings have 
been subject to it just as much as other beings. Warfare among 
m.en, like warfare among animals, has had a large share in raising 
their organizations to a higher stage. The following are some 
of the various ways in which it has worked. 

In the first place, it has had the effect of continually extirpating 
races which, for some reason or other, were least fitted to cope 
with the conditions of existence they were subject to. The killing- 
off of relatively-feeble tribes, or tribes relatively wanting in en- 
durance, or courage, or sagacity, or power of co-operation, must 
have tended ever to maintain, and occasionally to increase, the 
amounts of life-preserving powers possessed by men. 

Beyond this average advance caused by destriiction of the 
least-developed races and the least- developed individuals, there 
has been an average advance caused by inheritance of those fur- 
ther developments due to functional activity. Remember the 
skill of the Indian in following a trail, and remember that under 
kindred stimuli many of his perceptions and feelings and bodily 
powers have been habitually taxed to the uttermost, and it be- 
comes clear that the struggle for existence between neighbouring 
tribes has had an important effect in cultivating faculties of 
various kinds. Just as, to take an illustration from among our- 
selves, the skill of the police cultivates cunning among burglars, 
which, again, leading to further precautions generates further 
devices to evade them ; so, by the unceasing antagonisms between 
human societies, small and large, there has been a mutual culture 
of an adapted intelligence, a mutual culture of certain traits, of 



character not to be undervalued, and a mutual culture of bodily 

A large eifect, too, lias been produced upon the development 
of the arts. In responding to the imperative demands of war, 
industiy made important advances and gained much of its skill . 
Indeed, it may be questioned whether, in the absence of tliat 
exercise of manipulative faculty which the making of weapons 
originally gave, there would ever have been produced the tools 
required for developed industry. If we go back to the Stone- 
Age, we see that implements of the chase and implements of 
war are those showing most laboTxr and dexterity. If we take 
still- existing human races which were without metals when we 
found them, we see in their skilfully-wrought stone clubs, as 
well as in their large war-canoes, that the needs of defence and 
attack were the chief stimuli to the cultivation of arts afterwards 
available for productive purposes. Passing over intermediate 
stages, we may note in comparatively-recent- stages the same 
relation. Observe a coat of mail, or one of the more highly- 
finished suits of armour — compare it with articles of iron and 
steel of the same date ; and there is evidence that these desires 
to kill enemies and escape being killed, more extreme than any 
other, have had great effects on those arts of working in metal 
to which most other arts owe their progress. The like relation 
is shown us in the uses made of gunpowder. At first a destructive 
agent, it has become an agent of immense service in quanying, 
mining, railway-making, &c. 

A no less important benefit bequeathed by war, has been the 
formation of large societies. By force alone were small nomadic 
hordes welded into large tribes ; by force alone were large tribes 
welded into small nations ; by force alone have small nations 
been welded into large nations. While the fighting of societies 
usually maintains separateness, or by conquest produces only 
temporary unions, it produces, fi'om time to time, permanent 
unions ; and as fast as there are formed permanent unions of 
small into large, and then of large into stiU larger, industrial 


progress is furtlierecl in three ways. Hostilities, instead of being 
I)erpetual, are broken by intervals of peace. When they occur, 
hostiHties do not so profoundly derange the industrial activities. 
And there arises the possibility of carrying out the division of 
labour much more effectually. War, in short, in the slow course 
of things, brings about a social aggregation which furthers that 
industrial state at variance with war ; and yet nothing out war 
could bring about this social aggregation. These truths, 

that without war large aggregates of men cannot be formed, and 
that without large aggregates of men there cannot be a developed 
industrial state, are illustrated in all places and times. Among 
existing uncivilized and semi-civilized races, we everywhere find 
that imion of small societies by a conquering society is a step in 
civiHzation. The records of peoples now extinct show us this 
with equal clearness. On looking back into our own history, 
and into the histories of neighbouring nations, we similarly see 
that only by coercion were the smaller feudal governments so 
subordinated as to secure internal peace. And even lately, the 
long-desired consolidation of Germany, if not directly effected 
by "blood and iron," as Bismarck said it must be, has been 
indirectly effected by them. The furtherance of industrial 

development by aggregation is no less manifest. If we compare 
a small society with a large one, we get clear proof that those 
processe.s of co-operation by which social life is made possible, 
assume high forms only when the numbers of the co-operating 
citizens are great. Ask of what use a cloth-factory, supposing 
they could have one, would be to the raembers of a small tribe, 
and it becomes manifest that, producing as it would in a single 
day a year's supply of cloth, the vast cost of making it and 
keeping it in order could never be compensated by the advantage 
gained. Ask what would happen were a shop like Shoolbred's, 
supplying all textile products, set up in a village, and you see 
that the absence of a sufficiently-extensive distributing function 
would negative its continuance. Ask what sphere a bank would 
have had in the Old-English period, when nearly all people grew 

o 2 


tlieir own food and spun their own wool, and it is at once seen 
that the vai'ions appliances for faciHtating exchange can grow 
up only when a community becomes so large that the amount 
of exchange to be facihtated is great. Hence, unquestionably, 
that integration of societies effected by war, has been a needful 
preliminary to industrial development, and consequently to 
developments of other kinds — Science, the Fine Arts, &c. 

Industrial habits too, and habits of subordination to social 
requirements, are indirectly brought about by the same cause. 
The truth that the power of working continuously, wanting in 
the aboriginal man, could be estabhshed only by that persistent 
coercion to which conquered and enslaved tribes are subject, 
has become trite. An alHed truth is, that only by a discipline 
of submission, first to an owner, then to a personal governor, 
presently to government less personal, then to the embodied law 
proceeding from government, could there eventually be reached 
submission to that code of moral law by which the civilized 
man is more and more restrained in his dealings with his 

Such being some of the important tmths usually ignored by 
men too exclusively influenced by the religion of amity, let us 
now glance at the no less important truths to which men are 
blinded by the religion of enmity. 

Though, during barbarism and the earlier stages of civihza- , 
tion, war has the effect of exterminating the weaker societies, 
and of weeding out the weaker members of the stronger societies, 
and thus in both ways furthering the development of those 
valuable powers, bodily and mental, which war brings into play ; 
yet during the later stages of civilization, the second of these 
actions is reversed. So long as all adult males have to bear 
arms, the average result is that those of most strength and 
qaickness survive, while the feebler and slower are slain ; but 
when the industrial development has become such that only 
some of the adult males are drafted into the army, the tendency 


is to pick out and expose to slaughter the iDCst-grown and 
healthiest : leaving behind the physically-inferior to propagate 
the race . The fact that among ourselves, though, the number of 
soldiers raised is not relatively large, many recruits are rejected 
by the examining surgeons, shows that the process inevitably 
■works towards deterioration. Where, as in France, conscriptions 
have gone on taking away the finest men, generation after gene- 
ration, the needful lowering of the standard proves how disas- 
trous is the effect on those animal qualities of a race which 
form a necessary basis for all higher qualities. If the depletion 
is indirect also — if there is suchi an overdraw on the energies of 
the industrial population that a large share of heavy labour is 
thrown on the women, whose systems are taxed simultaneously 
by hard work and child-bearing, a further cause of physical 
degeneracy comes into play : France again supplying an ex- 
ample. War, therefore, after a certain stage of progress, 
instead of furthering bodily development and the development 
of certain mental powers, becomes a cause of retrogression. 

In like manner, though war, by bringing about social consoli- 
dations, indirectly favours industrial progress and all its civilizing 
consequences, yet the direct effect of war on industrial progress 
is repressive. It is repressive as necessitating the abstraction of 
men and materials that would otherwise go to industrial growth ; it 
is repressive as deranging the complex inter-dependencies among 
the many productive and distributive agencies ; it is re- 
pressive as drafting off much, administrative and constructive 
ability, which would else have gone to improve the industrial 
arts and the industrial organization. And if we contrast the 
absolutely- military Spartans with the partially-military Athe- 
nians, in their respective attitudes towards culture of every 
kind, or call to mind the contempt shown for the pursuit of 
knowledge in purely-military times like those of feudalism ; we 
cannot fail to see that persistent war is at variance not only with 
industrial development, btit also with the higher intellectual 
developments that aid industry and are aided by it. 


So, too, witH the effects wrouglit on the moral nature. While 
war, by the discipline it gives soldiers, directly cultivates the 
habit of subordination, and does the like indirectly by estab- 
lishing strong and permanent governments ; and while in so far 
it cultivates attributes that are not only temporarily essential, 
but are steps towards attributes that are permanently essential ; 
yet it does this at the cost of maintaining, and sometimes in- 
creasing, detrimental attributes — attributes intrinsically anti- 
social. The aggressions which selfishness prompts (aggressions 
which, in a society, have to be restrained by some power that is 
strong in proportion as the selfishness is intense) can diminish 
only as fast as selfishness is held "in check by sympathy; and 
j)erpetual warlike activities repress sympathy : nay, they do 
worse — they cultivate aggi^essiveness to the extent of making 
it a pleasure to inflict injury. The citizen made callous by 
the killing and wounding of enemies, inevitably brings his cal- 
lousness home with him. Fellow-feeling, habitually trampled 
down in military conflicts, cannot at the same time be active 
in the relations of civil life. In pr tportion as giving pain 
to others is made a habit during war, it will remain a habit 
during peace : inevitably producing in the behaviour of citizens 
to one another, antagonisms, crimes of violence, and multitu- 
dinous aggTessions of minor kinds, tending towards a disorder 
that calls for coercive government. I^othing like a high type of 
social life is possible without a type of human character in 
which the promptings of egoism are duly restrained by regard 
for others. The necessities of war imply absolute self-regard, 
and absolute disregard of certain others. Inevitably, thereforf, 
the civilizing discipline of social life is antagonized by the un- 
civilizing discipline of the life war involves. So that beyond 
the direct mortality and raiseries entailed by war, it entails 
other mortality and miseries by maintaining anti-social senti- 
ments in citizens. 

Taking the most general view of the matter, we may say that 
only when the sacred duty of blood-revenge, constituting tLo 


rjligion of the savage, decreases in sacredness, does there come a 
possibility of emergence from the deepest barbarism. Only as 
fast as retaliation, which for a murder on one side inflicts a 
murder or murders on the other, becomes less imperative, is it 
possible for larger aggregates of men to hold together and 
civilization to commence. And so, too, out of lower stages of 
civilization higher ones can emerge, only as there diminishes 
this pursuit of international revenge and re-revenge, which the 
code we inherit from the savage insists upon. Such advantages, 
bodily and mental, as the race derives from the discipline of 
war, are exceeded by the disadvantages, bodily and mental, but 
especially mental, which result after a certain stage of progress 
is reached. Severe and bloody as the process is, the killing-off 
of inferior races and inferior individuals, leaves a balance of 
benefit to raankind during phases of progress in which the 
moral development is low, and there are no quick sympathies to 
Ije continually seared by the infliction of pain and death. But 
as there arise higher societies, implying individual characters 
fitted for closer co-operation, the destructive activities exercised 
by such higher societies have injurious re-active effects on 
the moral natures of their members — injurious effects which 
outweigh the benefits resulting from extirpation of inferior 
races. After this stage has been reached, the purifying process, 
continuing still an important one, remains to be carried on by 
industrial war — by a competition of societies during which the 
best, physically, emotionally, and intellectually, spread most, 
and leave the least capable to disappear gradually, from failing 
to leave a sufficiently-numerous posteiity. 

Those educated in the religion of enmity — those who during 
boyhood, when the instincts of the savage are dominant, have 
revelled in the congenial ideas and sentiments which classic poems 
and histories yield so abundantly, and have become confirmed in 
the belief that war is virtuous and peace ignoble, are naturally 
blind to truths of this kind. Rather should we say, perhaps, that 
they have never tm'ned their eyes in search of such truths. 


And their bias is so strong that nothing more than a nominal 
recognition of such truths is possible to them ; if even this. 
What perverted conceptions of social phenomena this bias pro- 
duces, may be seen in the following passage from Gibbon : — 

" It was scarcely possible that the eyes of contemporaries should dis- 
cover in the public felicity the causes of decay and corruption. The long 
feace, and the uniform government of the Romans, had introduced a slow 
and secret poison mto the vitals of the empire." 

In which sentences there is involved the general proposition that 
in proportion as men are long held together in that mutual 
dependence which social co-operation implies, they will become 
less fit for mutual dependence and co-operation — the society will 
tend towards dissolution. "While in proportion as they ai-e 
habituated to antagonism and to destructive activities, they will 
become better adapted to activities requiring union and agree- 

Thus the two opposite codes in which we are educated, and the 
sentiments enlisted on behalf of theu' respective precepts, inevit- 
ably produce misinterpretations of social phenomena. Instead of 
acting together, now this and now the other sways the beliefs : 
and instead of consistent, balanced conclusions, there results a 
jumble of contradictoiy conclusions. 

It is time, not only with a view to right thinking in Sociril 
Science, but with a view to right acting in daily life, that this 
acceptance in their unqualified forms of two creeds which cou- 
ti'adict one another completely, should come to an end. Is it not 
a folly to go on protending to ourselves and others that we believe 
certain perpetually-repeated maxims of entire self-sacrifice, which 
we daily deny by our business activities, by the steps we take to 
protect our persons and property, by the approval we express of 
resistance against aggression ? Is it not a dishonesty to repeat 
in tones of reverence, maxims which we not only refuse to act 
out but dimly see would be mischievous if acted out ? EveryoiiO 
must admit that the relation between parent and child is one iu 


whicli altruism is puslied as far as is practicable. Yet even liere 
there needs a predominant egoism. The mother can suckle her 
infant only on condition that she has habitiially gratified her 
ajjpetite in due degree. And there is a point beyond which 
sacrifice of herself is fatal to her infant. The bread-winner, too, 
ou whom both depend — ^is it not undeniable that wife and child 
can be altruistically treated by their protector, only on condition 
that he is duly egoistic in his transactions with his fellow citizens ? 
If the dictate — live for self, is wrong in one way, the opposite 
dictate — "live for others," is wrong in another way. The rational 
dictate is — ^live for self and others. And if we all do actually 
believe this, as our conduct conclusively proves, is it not better 
for us distinctly to say so, rather than continue enunciating 
principles which we do not and cannot practise : thus bringing' 
moral teaching itself into discredit ? 

On the other hand, it is time that a ferocious egoism, which 
remains unaffected by this irrational altruism, professed but 
not believed, should be practically modified by a rational 
altruism. This sacred duty of blood-revenge, insisted on by the 
,5till- vigorous religion of enmity, needs qualifying actually and 
not verbally. Instead of senselessly reiterating in catechisms 
and chiu'ch services the duty of doing good to those that hate 
us, while an undoubting belief in the duty of rctaKation is im- 
plied by our parliamentary debates, the articles in our journals, 
and the conversations over our tables, it would be wiser and more 
m.anly to consider how far the first should go in mitigation of the 
last. Is it stupidity or is it moral cowardice which leads men to 
continue professing a creed that makes self-sacrifice a cardinal 
principle, while they ui*ge the sacrificing of others, even to th-; 
death, when they trespass against us ? Is it blindness, or is it an 
insane inconsistency, which makes them regard as most admirable 
the bearing of evil for the benefit of others, while they lavish 
admiration on those who, out of revenge, inflict great evils in 
return for small ones suffered ? Surely our barbarian code of 
right needs revision, and our barbarian standard of honour should 


be somewliat cTianged. Let us deliberately recognize wbat good 
tbey represent and what mixture of bad there is with it. Courage 
IS worthy of respect when displayed in the maintenance of legiti- 
mate claims and in the repelling of aggressions, bodily or other. 
Courage is worthy of yet higher respect when danger is faced iu 
defence of claims common to self and others, as in resistance to 
invasion. Courage is wortliy of the highest respect when risk to 
life or limb is dared in defence of others ; and becomes grand 
when those others have no claims of relationship, and still more 
when they have no claims of race. But though a bravery which 
is altruistic in its motive is a trait we cannot too highly applaud, 
and though a bravery which is legitimately egoistic in its motive 
is praiseworthy, the bravery that is prompted by aggressive 
egoism is not praiseworthy. The admiration accorded to the 
" pluck " of one who fights in a base cause is a vicious admira- 
tion, demoralizing to those who feel it. Like the physical 
powers, cotirage, which is a concomitant of these, is to be re- 
garded as a servant of the higher emotions — very valuable, 
indispensable even, in its place ; and to be honoured when dis- 
charging its function in subordination to these higher emotions. 
But otherwise not more to be honoured than the like attribute as 
seen in brutes. 

Quite enough has been said to show that there must be a com- 
promise between the opposite standards of conduct on which the 
religions of amity and enmity respectively insist; before there can 
be scientific conceptions of social phenomena. Even on passing 
affairs, such as the proceedings of philanthropic bodies and the 
dealings of nation with nation, there cannot be rational judg- 
ments without a balance between the self-asserting emotions and 
the emotions which put a limit to self-assertion, with an adjust- 
ment of the corresponding beliefs. Still less can there be rational 
judgments of past social evolution, or of social evolution in tho 
future, if the opposing actions which these opposiug creeds sanc- 
tion, are not both continuously recognized as essential. No mera 
impulsive recognition, now of the purely-egoistic doctrine and 


now of tlie purely-altruistic one, will suffice. The curve described 
by a planet cannot be understood by tbinking at one moment of the 
centiipetal force and at another moment of the tangential force ; 
but the two must be kept before consciousness as acting simul- 
taneously. And similarly, to understand social progress in the 
vast sweep of its course, there must be ever present to the mind, 
the egoistic and the altruistic forces as co-operative factors 
equally indispensable, and neither of them to be ignored or 

The criticism likely to be passed on this chapter, that " The 
Educational Bias " is far too comprehensive a title for it, is quite 
justifiable. There are in truth few, if any, of the several kinds 
of bias, that are not largely, or in some measure, caused by educa- 
tion — using this word in an extended sense. As, however, all of 
them could not be dealt with in one chapter, it seemed best to 
select these two opposite forms of bias which are directly 
traceable to teachings of opposite dogmas, and festerings of 
opposite sentiments, during early life. Merely recognizing the 
fact that education has much to do with the other kinds of bias, 
we may now most conveniently deal with these each under its 
specific title. 



" Oun country, riglit or wrong," is a sentiment not unfrequently 
expressed on the other side of the Atlantic ; and, if I remember 
rightly, an equivalent sentiment was some years ago uttered in our 
own House of Commons, by one who rejoices, or at least who 
once rejoiced, in the title of philosophical Radical. 

Whoever entertains such a sentiment has not that equilibrium 
of feeling required for dealing scientifically with social pheno- 
mena. To see how things stand, apart from personal and na- 
tional interests, is essential before there can be reached those 
balanced judgments respecting the course of human affairs in 
general, which constitute Sociology. To be convinced of this, 
it needs but to take a case remote from our own. Ask how the 
members of an aboriginal tribe regard that tide of civilization 
which sweeps them away. Ask what the North- American In- 
dians said about the spread of the white man over their territo- 
ries, or what the ancient Britons thought of the invasions which 
dispossessed them of England ; and it becomes clear that events 
which, looked at from an un-national point of view, were steps 
towards a higher life, seemed from a national point of view 
entirely evil. Admitting the truth so easily perceived in these 
cases, we must admit that only in proportion as we emancipate 
ourselves from the bias of patriotism, and consider our o-oti 
society as one among many, having their histories and their 
futures, and some of them, perhaps, having better claims than we 


have to the inheritance of the Earth — onlj in proportion as we 
do this, shall we recognize those sociological truths which have 
nothing to do with particular nations or particular races. 

So to emancipate ourselves is extremely difficult. It is with 
patriotism as we lately saw it to be with the sentiment causing 
political subordination : the very existence of a society imphes 
predominance of it. The two sentiments join in producing that 
social cohesion without which there cannot be co-operation and 
organization. A nationality is made possible only by the feeling 
which the units have for the whole they form. Indeed, we may 
say that the feeling has been gradually increased by the con- 
tinual destroying of types of men whose attachments to their 
societies were relatively small ; and who were therefore incapable 
of making adeqiiate sacrifices on behalf of their societies. Here, 
again, we are reminded that the citizen, by his incorporation in 
a body politic, is in a great degree coerced into such sentiments 
and beliefs as further its preservation : unless this is the average 
result the body politic will not be preserved. Hence another 
obstacle in the way of Social Science. We have to allow for 
the aberrations of judgment caused by the sentiment of patriotism. 

Patriotism is nationally that which egoism is individually — 
has, in fact, the same root ; and along with kindred benefits 
brings kindred evils. Estimation of one's society is a reflex of 
self-estimation ; and assertion of one's society's claims is an in- 
direct assertion of one's own claims as a part of it. The pride a 
citizen feels in a national achievement, is the pride in belonging 
to a nation capable of that achievement : the belonging to such a 
nation having the tacit implication that in himself there exists 
the superiority of nature displayed. And the anger aroused in 
him by an aggression on his nation, is an anger against some- 
thing which threatens to injure him also, by injuring his nation. 

As, lately, we saw that a duly-adjiisted egoism is essential ; so 
now, we may see that a duly-adjusted patriotism is essential. 
Self-regard in excess produces two classes of evils : by prompting 


undue assertion of personal claims it breeds aggression and anta- 
gonism ; and by creating undue estimation of personal powers it 
excites futile efforts that end in catastrophes. Deficient self- 
regard produces two opposite classes of evils : by not asserting 
personal claims, it invites aggression, so fostering selfishness in 
others ; and by not adequately valuing personal powers it causes 
a falling short of attainable benefits. Similarly with patriotism. 
From too much, there result national aggressiveness and national 
vanity. Along with too little, there goes an insufficient tendency 
to maintain national claims, leading to trespasses by other na- 
tions ; and there goes an undervaluing of national capacities and 
institutions, which is discouraging to effort and progress. 

The effects of patriotic feeling which here concern us, are 
those it works on belief rather than those it works on conduct. 
As disproportionate egoism, by distorting a man's conceptions 
of self and of others, vitiates his conclusions respecting human 
nature and human actions ; so, disproportionate patriotism, by 
distorting his conceptions of his own society and of other 
societies, vitiates his conclusions respecting the natures and 
actions of societies. And from the opposite extremes there re- 
sult opposite distortions : which, however, are comparatively 
infrequent and much less detrimental. 

Here we come upon one of the many ways in which the cor- 
porate conscience proves itself less developed than the individual 
conscience. For while excess of egoism is everywhere regarded 
as a fault, excess of patriotism is nowhere regarded as a fault. 
A man who recognizes his own errors of conduct and his o^vu 
deficiencies of faculty, shows a trait of character considered 
praiseworthy ; but to admit that our doings towards other na- 
tions have been wrong is reprobated as unpatriotic. Defending 
the acts of another people with whom we have a difference, 
seems to most citizens something like treason ; and they use 
offensive comparisons concerning birds and their nests, by way 
of couderoning those who ascribe misconduct to our OAvn people 
rather than to the people with whom we are at variance. Xot 


only do they exhibit the unchecked sway of this reflex egoism 
which constitutes patriotism — not only are they ujiconscious that 
there is anything blameworthy in giving the rein to this feeling ; 
but they think the blamewoi*thiness is in those who restrain it, 
and try to see what may be said on both sides. Judge, then, 
how seriously the pati'iotic bias, thus perverting our judgments 
about international actions, necessarily perverts our judgments 
about the characters of other societies, and so vitiates sociolosncal 

We have to guard ourselves against this bias. To this end let 
us take some examples of the errors attributable to it. 

What mistaken estimates of other races may result from over- 
estimation of one's own race, will be most vividly shown by a. 
case in which we are ourselves valued at a very low rate by a 
I'ace we hold to be far inferior. Here is such a case supplied bv 
a tribe of negroes : — 

'• They amused themselves by remarking on the sly, 'The white man 
is an old ape.' The African will say of the European, ' He looks like 
folks/ [men], and the answer will often he, ' No, he don't. . . . 
Wliilst the Caucasian doubts the humanity of the Hamite, the lattei 
repays the compliment in kind." ^ 

Does anyone think this instance so far out of the ordinary 
track of error as to have no instruction for us ? To see the con- 
trary he has but to look at the caricatures of Frenchmen that 
were common a generation ago, or to remember the popular 
statement then current respecting the relative strengths of 
French and English. Such reminders will convince him that 
the reflex self-esteem we call patriotism, has had, among oiir- 
selves, perverting effects sufficiently striking. And even now 
there are kindred opinions which the facts, when examined, do 
not bear out : instance the opinio] i respecting personal beauty. 
That the bias thus causing misjudgments in cases where it is 
checked by direct perception, causers greater misjudgments where 
direct perception cannot check it, needs no proof. How great 


are the mistakes it generates, all histories of international strug- 
gles show lis, both by the contradictory estimates the two sides 
form of their respective leadei-s and by the contradictory esti- 
mates the two sides form of their deeds. Take an example : — 

" Of the character in which Wallace first became formidable, the 
accounts in literature are distractingly conflicting. With the chroniclers 
of his own country, who write after the War of Independence, he is 
raised to the highest pinnacle of magnanimity and heroism. To the 
English contemporary chroniclers he is a pestilent ruffian ; a disturber 
of the peace of society ; an outrager of all laws and social duties ; 
finally, a robber — the head of one of many bands of robbers and 
marauders then infesting Scotland." ^ 

That, along with such opposite distortions of belief about 
conspicuous persons, there go opposite distortions of belief about 
the conduct of the peoples they belong to, the accounts of every 
war demonstrate. Like the one-sidedness shown within our 
own society by the remembrance among Protestants of Roman 
Catholic cruelties only, and by the remembrance among Roman 
Catholics of Protestant cruelties only, is the one-sidedness shown 
in the traditions preserved by each nation concerning the barba- 
rities of nations it has fougbt Avith. As in old times the Normans, 
vindictive themselves, were shocked at the vindictiveness of the 
English when driven to bay ; so in recent times the French have 
enlarged on the atrocities committed by Spanish guerillas, and 
the Russians on the atrocities the Circassians perpetrated. In 
this conflict between the views of those who commit savage acts, 
and the views of those on whom they are committed, we clearlv 
perceive the bias of patriotism where both sides are aliens ; but 
we fail to perceive it where we are ourselves concerned as actors. 
Every one old enough remembers the reprobation vented here 
when the French in Algiers dealt so cruelly with Arabs who 
refused to submit — lighting fires at the mouths of caves in which 
they had taken refuge ; but we do not see a like barbarity in 
deeds of our own in India, such as the executing a group of 
rebel sepoys by fusillade, and then setting fire to the heap of 


them because they were not all dead,' oi* in the wholesale shoot- 
ings and burnings of houses, after the suppression of the Jamaica 
insurrection. Listen to what is said about such deeds in our 
own colonies, and you find that habitually they are held to have 
been justified by the necessities of the case. Listen to what is 
said about such deeds when other nations are guilty of them, 
and you find the same persons indignantly declare that no alleged 
necessities could form a justification. Nay, the bias produces 
perversions of judgment even more extreme. Feelings and deeds 
we laud as virtuous when they are not in antagonism with our 
own interests and power, we think vicious feelings and deeds 
when our own interests and power are endangered by them. 
Equally in the mythical story of Tell and in any account not 
mythical, we read with glowing admiration of the successful 
rising of an oppressed race ; but admiration is changed into 
indignation if the race is one held down by ourselves. We can 
see nothing save crime in the endeavour of the Hindus to throw 
off our yoke ; and we recognize no excuse for the efforts of the 
Irish to establish their independent nationality. We entirely 
ignore the fact that the motives are in all such cases the same, 
and are to be judged apart from results. 

A bias which thus vitiates even the perceptions of physical 
appearances, which immensely distorts the beliefs about con- 
spicuous antagonists and their deeds, which leads us to reprobate 
when others commit them, severities and cruelties we applaud 
when committed by our own agents, and which makes us regard 
acts of intrinsically the same kind as wi'ong or right according as 
they are or are not directed against ourselves, is a bias which in- 
evitably perverts sOur sociological ideas. The institutions of a 
despised people cannot be judged with fairness ; and if, as often 
happens, the contempt is unwarranted, or but partially warranted, 
such value as their institutions have will certainly be under- 
estimated. WTien antagonism has bred hatred towards another 
nation, and has consequently bred a desire to justify the hatred 
by ascribing hateful characters to members of that nation, it 


inevitably happens that the political arrangements under which 
they live, the religion they profess, and the habits peculiar to 
them, become associated in thought with these hateful characters 
— become themselves hateful, and cannot therefore have their 
natures studied with, the calmness required by science. 

An example will make this clear. The reflex egoism we name 
patriotism, causing among other things a high valuation of the 
religious creed nationally professed, makes us overrate the effects 
this creed has produced, and makes us underrate the effects 
produced by other creeds and by influences of other orders. The 
notions respecting savage and civilized races, iii which we are 
brought up, show this. 

The worfl. savage, originally meaning wild or uncultivated, has 
come to mean ciniel and blood-thirsty, because of the representa- 
tions habitually made that wild or uncultivated tribes of men 
are cruel and blood-thirsty. And ferocity being now always 
thought of as a constant attribute of uncivilized races, which are 
also distinguished by not having our religion, it is tacitly assumed 
that the absence of our religion is the cause of this ferocity. But 
if, stniggling successfully against the bias of patriotism, we 
correct the evidence which that bias has garbled, we find our- 
selves obliged to modify this assumption. 

When, for instance, we read Cook's account of the Tahitians, 
as first visited by him, we are surprised to meet with some traits 
among them, higher than those of their civilized visitors. Though 
pilfering was committed by them, it was not so serious as that of 
which the sailors were guilty in stealing the iron bolts out of 
their own ship to pay the native women. And when, after Cook 
had enacted a penalty for theft, the natives complained of one of 
his own crew — when this sailor, convicted of the offence he was 
charged with, was condemned to be whipped, the natives tried 
to get him off, and failing to do this, shed tears on seeiiig prepa- 
rations for the punishment. If, again, Ave compare critically the 
accounts of Cook's death, we see clearly that the Sandwich 


Islanders behaved amicably xintil they had been ill-used, and had 
reason to fear further ill-usage. The experiences of many other 
travellers similarly show us that friendly conduct on the part of 
uncivilized races when first visited, is very general ; and that 
their subsequent unfriendly conduct, when it occurs, is nothing 
but retaliation for injuries received from the civilized. Such 
fact as that the natives of Queen Charlotte's Island did not 
attack Captain Carteret's party till after they had received just 
cause of offence,^ may be taken as typical of the histories of 
transactions between wild races and cultivated races. When we 
inquire into the case of the missionary Williams, " the Martyr of 
Erromanga," we discover that his murder, dilated upon as prov- 
ing the wickedness of unreclaimed natures, was a revenge for 
injuries previously suffered froin wicked Europeans. Read a 
few testimonies about the relative behaviours of civilized and 
uncivilized : — 

" After we had killed a man at the Marquesas, grievously wounded 
one at Easter Island, hooked a third with a boat-hook at Tonga-tubu, 
wounded one at Namocka, another at MallicoUo, and killed another at 
Tanna ; the several inhabitants behaved in a civil and harmless manner 
to ns, though they might have taken ample revenge by cutting off our 
.straggling parties." ^ 

" Excepting at Cafta, where I was for a time supposed to come witli 
hostile intent, I was treated inhospitably by no one during all my 
travels, excepting by Europeans, who had nothing against me but my 
apparent poverty." ^ 

" In February, 1812, the people of Winnebah [Gold Coast] seized 
their commandant, Mr. Meredith," and so maltreated him that he died. 
The town and fort were destroyed by the English. " For many years 
afterwards, English vessels passing Winnebah were in the habit of 
pouring a broadside into the- town, to inspire the natives with an idea 
of the severe vengeance which would be exacted for the spilling of 
European blood." ^ 

Or, instead of these separate testimonies, take the opinion of one 
who collected many testimonies. Referring to the kind treat- 
ment experienced by Enciso from the natives of Cartagena (on 

p 2 


the coast of New Granada), who a few years before had been 
cruelly treated by the Spaniards, "Washington Irving says : — 

" When we recall the bloody and indiscriminate vengeance wreaked 
upon this people by Ojida and his followers for their justifiable resist- 
ance of invasion, and compare it Avdth their placable and considerate 
spirit when an opportunity for revenge presented itself, we confess we 
feel a momentary doubt whether the arbitrary appellation of savage is 
always applied to the right party." ^ 

The reasonableness of this doubt will scarcely be questioned, 
after reading of the diabolical cruelties committed by the in- 
vading Europeans in America ; as, for instance, in St. Domingo, 
where the French made the natives kneel in rows along the edge 
of a deep trench and shot them batch after batch, until the 
trench was full, or, as an easier method, tied numbers of them 
together, took them out to sea, and tumbled them overboard ; 
and where the Spaniards treated so horribly the enslaved natives, 
that these killed themselves wholesale : the various modes of 
sui(?ide being shown in Spanish drawings. 

]3oes the Englishman say that these, and hosts of like demo- 
niacal misdeeds, are the misdeeds of other civilized races in other 
times ; and that they are attributable to that corrupted religion 
which he repudiates ? If so, he niay be reminded that sundiy of 
the above facts are facts against ourselves. He may be reminded, 
too, that the purer religion he professes has not prevented a 
kindred treatment of the North American Indians by our own 
race. And he may be put to the blush by accounts of barbarities 
going on in our own colonies at the present time. Without 
detailing these, however, it will suffice to recall the most recent 
notorious case — that of the kidnappings and murdei'S in the 
South Seas. Here we find repeated the typical transactions : — 
betrayals of many natives and merciless sacrifices of their lives ; 
eventual retaliation by the natives to a small extent ; a conse- 
quent charge against the natives of atrocious murder ; and finally, 
a massacre of them, innocent and guilty together. 

Sec, then, how the bias of pati'iotism indirectly produces erro- 


neons views of the effects of an institution. Blinded by national 
self-love to tlie badness of onr conduct towards inferior races, 
while remembering what there is of good in our conduct ; for- 
getting how well these inferior races have usually behaved to us, 
and remembering only their misbehaviour, which we refrain 
from tracing to its cause in our own transgressions ; we over- 
value our own natures as compared with theirs. And then, 
looking at the two as respectively Christian and Heathen, we 
over-rate the good done by Christian institutions (which has 
doubtless been great), and we under- rate the advance that has 
been made without them. We do this habitually in other cases. 
As, for instance, when we ignore evidence furnished by the 
history of Buddhism ; respecting the founder of which Canon 
Liddon lately told his hearers that " it might be impossible for 
honest Christians to think over the career of this heathen Prince 
without some keen feelings of humiliation and shame." ^ And 
ignoring all such evidence, we get one-sided impressions. Thus 
oui" sociological conceptions are distorted — do not correspond 
with the facts ; that is, are unscientific. 

To illustrate some among the many effects wrought by the 
bias of patriotism in other nations, and to show how mischievous 
are the beliefs it fosters, I may here cite evidence furnished by 
France and by Germany. 

Contemplate that xmdue self- estimation which, the French 
have shown us. Observe what has resulted from that exceeding 
faith in French power which the writings of M. Thiers did so 
much to maintain and increase. When we remember how, by 
causing imder- valuation of other nations, it led to a disregard of 
their ideas and an ignorance of their doings — when we remember 
how, in the late war, the French, confident of victory, had maps 
of German territory but not of their own, and suffered cata- 
strophes from this and other kinds of unpreparedness ; we see 
what fatal evils this reflex self-esteem may produce when in 
excess. So, too, on studying the way in which it has 


influenced Frencla thouglit in other directions. On reading the 
assertion, " La chimie est una science fran9aise," with which 
Wurtz commences his JSistoire des Doctrines Chimiques, one cannot 
but see that the feeling which prompted snch an assertion must 
•(/itiate the comparisons made between things in France and things 
elsewhere. Looking at Crimean battle-pieces, in which French 
soldiers are shown to have achieved everything — looking at a 
picture like Ingres' " Crowning of Homer," and noting French 
jjoets conspicuous in the foreground, while the figure of Shak- 
speare in one comer is half in and half out of the picture — 
reading the names of great men of all nations inscribed on the 
string-course running roim^d the Palais de VIndvstrie, and finding 
many unfamiUar French names, while (strange oversight, as we 
m.ust suppose) the name of Newton is conspicuous by its ab- 
sence ; we see exemplified a national sentiment which, generating 
the belief that things not French deserve little attention, acts 
injm'iously on French thought and French progress. From Victor 
Hugo's magniloquent description of France as the " Saviour 
of Nations," do"svn to the declamations of those who urged that 
wore Paris destroyed the light of civilization would be extin- 
guished, we see throughout, the conviction that France is the 
teacher, and by implication needs not to be a learner. The 
diffusion of French ideas is an essential thing for other nations ; 
while the absorption of ideas from other nations is not an essen- 
tial thing for France : the truth being, rather, that French ideas, 
more than most other ideas, stand in need of foreign influence 
to qualify the imdue definiteness and dogmatic character they 
habitually display. That such a tone of feeling, and the 

mode of thinking appropriate to it, should vitiate sociological 
speculation, is a matter of course. If there needs proof, we have 
a conspicuous one in the wi'itings of M. Comte ; where excessive 
self- estimation under its direct form, and under that reflex form 
constituting patriotism, has led to astounding sociological mis- 
conceptions. If we contemplate that scheme of Positivist re- 
organization and federation in which France was, of course, to 


be the leader — if we note the fact that M. Comte expected the 
transformation he so rigorously formulated to take place during 
the life of his own generation ; and if, then, we remember what 
has since happened, and consider Avhat are the probabilities of 
the future, we shall not fail to see that great perversions are pro- 
duced by this bias in the conceptions of social phenomena. 

How national self-esteem, exalted by success in war, warps 
opinions about public affairs, is again shown of late in Grermany. 
^Vs a German professor writes to me : — " there is, alas, no want of 
t-igns " that the " happy contrast to French self-sufficiency " 
■which Grermany heretofore displayed, is disappearing " since the 
glory of the late victories." The Grerman liberals, he says, 
"overflow with talk of Germanism, German unity, the German 
nation, the German empire, the German army and the German 

navy, the German church, and German science They 

i-idicule Frenchmen, and what animates them is, after all, the 
French spirit translated into German." To illustrate 

the injurious reaction on German thought, and on the estimates 
of foreign nations and their doings, he describes a discussion 
with an esteemed German professor of philosophy, against whom 
he was contending that the psychical and ethical sciences would 
','ain in progress and influence by international communion, like 
lUat among the physico-mathematical sciences. He "to my 
astonishment declared that even if such an union were possible, 
] le did not think it desirable, as it would interfere too much with 

the peculiarity of German thought Second to Germany," 

he said, " it was Italy, which, in the immediate future, was most 

likely to promote philosophy It appeared that what made 

him prefer the Italians .... Avas nothing else than his having 
observed that in Italy they were acquainted with every philoso- 
phical treatise pubhshed in Germany, however unimportant." 
And thus, adds my correspondent, "the finest German 
characteristics are disappearing in an exaggerated Teutono- 
: .lania." One more truth his comments on German feeling 

disclose. An indirect antagronism exists between the sentiment of 


Aationalitj and the sentiment of individuality ; the result of which 
is that exaltation of the one involves depression of the other, and 
a decreased regard for the institutions it originates. Speaking of 
the "so-called National Liberals," he says: — "A friend of mine 
was lately present at a discussion, in the course of which a professor 

of philosophy, of the University of , was very eloquently, and 

with perfect seriousness, contending that only one thing is now 
wanted to complete our German institutions — a national costume. 
Other people, who, no doubt, are fully aware of the ridiculousness 
of such things, are nevertheless guilty of an equally absurd and 
even more- intolerable encroach.inent on individual liberty ; since, 
by proposing to establish a national church, they aim at con- 
straining the adherents of the various religious bodies into a 
spiritual uniform. Indeed, I should hardly have thought it 
possible that a German government could encourage such 
monstrous propositions, if they had not been expounded to me at 
the Ministry of Public Worship." 

Saying no more about patriotism and its perverting effects on 
sociological judgments, which are, indeed, so conspicuous all 
through history as scarcely to need pointing out, let me devote the 
remaining space to the perverting effects of the opposite feeling 
— anti-patriotism. Though the distortions of opinion hence re- 
sulting are less serious, still they have to be guarded against. 

In England the bias of anti-patriotism does not diminish, in a 
marked way the admiration we have for our political institu- 
tions ; but only here and there prompts the wish for a strong 
government, to secure the envied benefits ascribed to strong go- 
vei'nments abroad. Nor does it appreciably modify the general 
attachment to our religious institutions ; but only in a few who 
dislike independence, shows itself in advocacy of an authorita- 
tive ecclesiastical system, fitted to remedy what they lament as a 
chaos of religious beliefs. In other directions, however, it is 
displayed so frequently and conspicuously as to affect pubh'c 
opinion ia an injiu'ious way. In respect to the higher orders of 


intellectual achievement, nnder- valuation of ourselves has become 
a fashion ; and the errors it fosters react detrimentally on the 
estimates we make of our social regime, and on our sociological 
beliefs in general. 

What is the origin of this undue self- depreciation ? In some 
cases no doubt it results from disgust at the jaunty self- 
satisfaction cavised by the bias of patriotism when excessive. 
In other cases it grows out of affectation : to speak shghtingly 
of what is English seems to imply a wide knowledge of what is 
foreign, and brings a reputation for culture. In the remaining 
cases it is due to ignorance. Passing over such of these seK- 
depreciatory estimates of our powers and achievements as havo 
partial justifications, I will limit myself to one which has no 
justification. Among the classes here indicated, it is the cus- 
tom to speak disrespectfully of the part we play in discovery 
and invention. There is an assertion occasionally to be met 
with in public journals, that the French invent and we improve. 
Not long since it was confessed by the Attorney- General that 
the English are not a scientific nation. Recently the Times, 
commenting on a speech in which Mr. Gladstone had been dis- 
paraging our age and its men, said : — " There is truth, however, 
in the assertion that we are backward in appreciating and 
pui'suing abstract knowledge." '" Such statements exhibit the 
bias of anti-patriotism creating a belief that is wholly inde- 
fensible. As we shall presently see, they are flatly contradicted 
by facts ; and they can be accounted for only by supposing that 
those who make them have had a culture exclusively literary. 

A convenient way of dealing with this bias of anti-patriotism 
■will be to take an individual example of it. More than any 
other, Mr. Matthew Arnold has of late made himself an ex- 
ponent of the feeling. His naotive cannot be too highly 
respected; and for much that he has said in rebuke of the 
vainglorious, entire approval may rightly bo felt. ]\Iauy grave 
defects in our social state, many absurdities in our modes of 
action, many errors in our estimates of ourselves, are to bp 


pointed out and dwelt upon ; and great good is done by a writer 
who efficiently executes tlio task of making us feel our short- 
comings. In liis condemnation of the ascetic view of life which 
still prevails here, one may entirely agree. That undue valua- 
tion of material prosperity common with us, is a fault justly 
insisted on by him. And the overweening confidence so often 
shown in a divine favour gained by our greater national piety, 
is also an attitude of mind to be reprobated. But by reaction 
Mr. Arnold is, I think, carried too far in the direction oi anti- 
patriotism ; and weakens the effect of his criticism by generating 
a re-reaction. Let us glance at some of his views. 

The mode of procedure generally followed by Mr. Araold, is 
not that of judicially balancing the evidence, but that of meeting 
the expression of self-satisfied patriotism by some few facts cal- 
culated to cause dissatisfaction : not considering what is their 
quantitative value. To reprove a piece of national self-laudation 
uttered by Mr. Roebuck, he comments on the murder of an 
illegitimate child by its mother, reported in the same paper. 
Xow this would be effective if infanticide were peciiliar to Eng- 
land, or if he could show a larger proportion of infanticide here 
than elsewhere ; but his criticism is at once cancelled on calling 
to mind the developed system of baby- farming round Paris, and 
the extensive getting-rid of infants to which it is instrumental. 
By following Mr. Arnold's method, it would be easy to dispose 
of his conclusions. Suppose, for instance, that I were to 

set down the many murders committed in England by foreigners 
Avithin our own memories, including those by Courvoisier, by Mrs. 
Manning, by Barthelemi near Fitzroy Square, by a Frenchmnu 
in Foley Place (about 1854-7), that by Miiller, that by Kohl in 
the Essex marshes, that by Lani in a brothel near the Hay- 
market, that by Marguerite Diblanc, the tragedy of the two 
young Germans (Mai and Nagel) at Chelsea, ending with the 
recent one in Great Coram Street — suppose I Avere to compare 
the ratio between this number of murderers and the number 


of foreigners in England, with tlie answering ratio among onr 
own people ; and suppose I were to take this as a test of 
the Continental culture Mr. Arnold so much admires. Pro- 
bably he would not think the test quite relevant ; and yet it 
would be quite as relevant as that he uses — perhaps somewhat 
more relevant. Suppose, again, that by way of criticism 

on German administration, I were to dwell on the catastrophe at 
Berlin, where, durmg the celebration of victory, fourteen sight- 
seers were killed and some hundreds injured ; or suppose I were 
to judge it by the disclosures of the leading Berlia physician, 
Virchow, who shows that one out of every three children born in 
Berlin dies the first year, and whose statistics prove the general 
mortality to be increasing so rapidly that while "hi 1854 the death- 
rate was 1000, in 1851—63 it rose to 1164, and in 1864—8 to 
1817"" — suppose, I say, that I took these facts as proof of 
failure in the social system Mr. Arnold would have us copy. 
Possibly he would not be much shaken ; though it seems to mo 
that this evidence would be more to the point than a case of infan- 
ticide among ourselves. "Further, suppose I were to test 
French administration by the statistics of mortality in the Ci'imea, 
as given at the late meeting of the French Association for the 
Advancement of Science, by M. Le Fort, who pointed out that — 

" Dans ces six mois d'hiver 1855-1856, alors qu'il n'y a plus guere 
d'hostilites, alors que les Anglais ont seulement en six mois 165 blesses, et 
les Frangais 323, I'armee anglaise, grace aux precautions prises, n'a que 
peu de malades et ne perd que 606 hommes; I'armee frangaise voit 
eclater au milieu d'elle le typhus, qu'on eut pu eviter, et perd par les 
maladies seules 21,190 hommes ;" 

and who further, respecting the refative mortalities from opera- 
tions, said that — 

" En Crimee, les armees anglaise et frangaise se trouvent expost'es aux 
memes besoins, aux memes vicissitudes atraospheriques, et cejieudant 
quelle difference dans la mortaUte des operes. Les Anglais jDerdent 24 
pour 100 de leurs amputes du bras, nous en perdons plus du double, 55 
sur 100 ; il en est de meme pour I'amjputation de la jambe : 35 contre 
71 pour 100." 


— suppose, I say, that I were thus to deal with the notion that 
"they manage these things better in France." Mr. Arnold 
would, very likely, not abandon his belief. And yet this contrast 
would certainly be as damaging as the fact about the girl Wragg, 
to which he more than once refers so emphatically. Surely it 
is manifest enough that by selecting the evidence, any society 
may be relatively blackened and any other society relatively 

From Mr. Arnold's method let ns turn to some of his specific 
statements ; taking first the statement that the English are 
deficient in ideas. He says : — " There is the world of ideas, and 
there is the world of practice ; the French are often for suppress- 
ing the one, and the English the other." '" Admitting the success 
of the English in action, Mr. Arnold thinks that it goes along 
with want of faith in speculative conclusions. But by putting 
ideas and practice in this antithesis, he implies his acceptance of 
the notion that effectual practice does not depend on superiority 
of ideas. This is an erroneous notion. Methods that answer 
are preceded by thoughts that are true. A successful enterprise 
presupposes an imagination of all the factors, and conditions, and 
results — an imagination which differs from one leading to an un- 
successful enterprise in this, that what will happen is clearly and 
completely foreseen, instead of being foreseen vaguely and in- 
completely : there is greater ideality. Every scheme is an idea ; 
every scheme more or less new, implies an idea more or less 
original ; every scheme proceeded with, implies an idea vivid 
enough to prompt action ; and every scheme which succeeds, 
implies an idea so accurate and exhaustive that the results cor- 
respond with it. When an English company accommodates 
Amsterdam with water (an element the Dutch are very familiar 
with, and in the management of which they, centuries ago, gave 
us lessons) must we not say that by leaving us to supply theiv 
chief city they show a want of confidence in results ideally 
seen ? Is it replied that the Dutch are not an imaginative 
people ? Then take the Italians. How happens it that such a 


pressing need as the draining of Naples, lias never suggested to 
Italian rulers or Italian people the taking of measures to achieve 
it ; and how happens it that the idea of draining Naples, instead 
of emanating from French or Germans, supposed by ]\Ir. Arnold 
to have more faith in ideas, emanates from a company of English- 
men, who are now proposing to do the work without cost to the 
municipality." Or what shall we infer as to relative faith in 
ideas, on learning that even Avithin their respective territories the 
French and Germans wait for ns to undertake new things for 
them ? When we find that Toulouse and Bordeaux were lighted 
with gas by an English company, must we not infer lack of ideas 
in the people of those places ? When we find that a body of 
Englishmen, the Rhone Hydraulic Company, seeing that at 
Bellegarde there are rapids having a fall of forty feet, made a 
tunnel carrying a fourth of the river, and so got 10,000 horse- 
power, which they are selling to manufacturers ; and when we 
ask why this source of wealth was not utilized by the French 
themselves ; must we not say that it was because the idea did 
not occnr to them, or because it was not vivid and definite 
enough to prompt the enterprise ? And when, on going north, 
we discover that not only in Belgium and Holland are the chief 
towns, Brussels, Antwerp, Lille, Ghent, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, 
Haarlem, &c., lighted by our Continental Gas Association, but 
that this combination of Englishmen lights many towns in 
Germany also — Hanover, Aix-la-Chapelle, Stolberg, Cologne, 
Frankfort, Vienna, nay, that even the head-quarters of geist., 
Berlin itself, had to wait for light until this Company supplied 
it, must we not say that more faith in ideas jvas shown by English 
than by Germans ? Germans have plenty of energy, are not with- 
out desire to make money, and knew that gas was used in Eng- 
land ; and if neither they nor their Governments undertook the 
work, we must infer that the benefits and means were inadequately 
conceived. English enterprises have often been led by ideas that 
looked wholly unpractical : as when the first English steamer 
astonished the people of Coblentz, in 1817, by making its appear- 


ance there, so initiating the Rhine steam-navigation ; or as when 
the first English steamer started across the Atlantic. Instead 
of our practice being unideal, the ideas which guide it sometimes 
verge on the romantic. Fishing up a cable from the bottom of 
an ocean three miles deep, was an idea seemingly more fitted for 
The Arabian Nights than for actual life ; and yet success proved 
how truly those who conducted the operation had put together 
their ideas in correspondence with the facts — the true test of 
vivid imagination. 

To show the groundlessness of the notion that new ideas are 
not evolved and appreciated as much in England as elsewhere, I 
am tempted here to enumerate our modern inventions of all 
orders ; from those directly aiming at material results, such as 
Trevethick's first locomotive, up to the calculating-machines of 
Babbage and the logic-machine of Jevons, quite remote from 
practice in their objects. But merely asserting that those who 
go through the list will find that neither in number nor in im- 
portance do they yield to those of any nation dui'ing the same 
period, I refrain from details. Partly I do this because the space 
required for specifying them would be too great ; and partly 
because inventions, mostly having immediate bearings on practice, 
would perhaps not be thought by Mr. Arnold to prove fertility of 
idea : though, considering that each machine is a theory before 
it becomes a working reality, this would be a position difiicult to 
defend. To avoid all possible objection, I will limit myself to 
scientific discovery, from which the element of practice is 
excluded ; and to meet the impression that scientific discovery in 
recent days has not maintained its former pace, I will name only 
our achievements since 1800. 

Taking fii*st the Abstract Sciences, let us ask what has been 
done in Logic. We have the brief but pregnant statement of 
inductive methods by Sir John Hersghel, leading to the definite 
systematization of them by ^Ir. ]\Iill ; and we have, in the work 
of Professor Bain, elaborately-illustrated applications of logical 
methods to science and to the business of hfe. Deductive Logic, 


too, lias been developed by a further conception. The doctrhie 
of the quantification of the predicate, set forth in 1827 by Mr. 
Greorge Bentham, and again set forth nnder a nnmerical form by 
Professor De Morgan, is a doctrme supplementary to that of 
Aristotle ; and the recognition of it has made it easier than before 
to see that Deductive Logic is a science of the relations implied 
by the inclusions, exclusions, and overlappings of classes. ^^ Even 
were this all, the instalment of progress would be large for a 
smgle generation. But it is by no means all. In the work by 
Professor Boole, Investigation of the Laivs of Thought, the appli- 
cation to Logic of methods like those of Mathematics, constitutes 
another step far greater in originality and in importance than 
any taken siace Aristotle. So that, strangely enough, the asser- 
tion quoted above, that "we are backward in appreciating and 
2)arsuing abstract knowledge," and this complaint of Mr. Arnold 
that our life is wanting in ideas, come at a time when we have 
lately done more to advance the most abstract and purely-ideal 
science, than has been done anywhere else, or dm-ing any past 
period ! 

In the other division of Abstract Science — Mathematics, a 
recent revival of activity has brought results sufficiently striking. 
Though, during a long period, the bias of patriotism and undue 
reverence for that form of the higher calculus which Newton 
initiated, greatly retarded us; yet since the re-commencement of 
progress, some five-and-twenty years ago. Englishmen have again 
come to the front. Sir W. R. Hamilton's method of Quaternions 
is a new instrument of research ; and whether or not as valuable 
as some think, undoubtedly adds a large region to the world of 
known mathematical truth. And then, more important still, 
there are the achievements of Cayley and Sylvester in the creation 
and development of the higher algebra. From competent and 
unbiassed judges I learn that the Theory of Invariants, and the 
methods of investigation which have grown out of it, constitute 
a step in mathematical progress larger than any made since the 
Differential Calculus. Thus, without enumerating the minor 


achievements of others, there is ample proof that abstract science, 
of this order also, is flourishing among us in great vigour. 

Nor, on passing to the Abstract- Concrete Sciences, do we find 
better ground for this belief entertained by Mr. Arnold and 
others. Though Huyghens conceived of light as constituted of 
undulations, yet he was wrong in conceiving the undulations as 
allied in form to those of sound ; and it remained for Dr. Young 
to establish the true theory. Respecting the principle of inter- 
ference of the rays of light propounded by Young, Sir John 
Herschel says, — " regarded as a physical law [it] has hardly its 
equal for beauty, simplicity, and extent of application, in the whole 
circle of science ; " and of Young's all-important discovery that 
the luminiferous undulations are transverse not longitudinal, he 
says that it showed " a sagacity which would have done honour 
to Newton himself." Just naming the discovery of the law of ex- 
pansion of gases by Dalton, the laws of radiation by Leslie, the 
theory of dew by Wells, the discrimination by Wollaston of 
quantity and intensity in electricity, and the disclosure of elec- 
trolysis by Nicholson and Carlisle (all of them cardinal dis- 
coveries) and passing over minor contributions to physical 
science, we come to the great contributions of Faraday — mag- 
neto-electricity, the quantitative law of electrolysis, the magneti- 
zation of light, and dia-raagnetism : not mentioning others of 
much significance. Next there is the great truth which men 
still living have finally established — the correlation and equiva- 
lence of the physical forces. In the estabhshment of this truth 
Englishmen have had a large share — some think the larger share. 
Remembering that in England the conception of heat as a mode 
of motion dates from Bacon, by whom it was expressed. with an 
insight that is marvellous considering the knowledge of his time 
— remembering, too, that " Locke stated a similar view with 
singular f ehcity ; " we come, among Englishmen of the present 
century, first to Davy, whose experiments and arguments so 
conclusively supported those of Rumford ; then to the view of 
Roget and the postulate on which Faraday habitually reasoned, 


tliat all force arises only as other force is expended ; tlien to the 
essay of Grove, in which, the origin of the various forms of force 
out of one another was abundantly exemplified; and finally to 
the investigations by which Joule established the quantitative 
relations between heat and motion. Without dwelling on the 
important deductions from this great truth made by Sir W. 
Thomson, Rankine, Tyndall, and others, I will merely draw 
attention to its highly-abstract nature as again showing the base- 
lessness of the above-quoted notion. 

Equally conclusive is the evidence when we pass to Chemistry. 
The cardinal value of the step made by Dalton in 1808, when 
the apergu of Higgins was reduced by him to a scientific form, 
will be seen on glancing into Wurtz' Introduction to Chemical 
Philosophy, and observing how the atomic theory underlies all 
subsequent chemical discovery. JiTor, in more recent days, has 
the development of this theory fallen unduly into foreign hands. 
Prof. Williamson, by reconciling the theory of radicals with the 
theory of types, and by introducing the hypothesis of condensed 
molecular types, has taken a leading part in founding the modern 
views of chemical combinations. We come next to the cardinal 
conception of atomicity. In 1851, Prof. Frankland initiated the 
classification of the elements by their atomicities : his important 
interpretation being now avowedly accepted in Grermany by 
those who originally disputed it ; as by Kolbe in his Moden der 
Modernen Ghemie. On turning from the more general chemical 
truths to the more special chemical truths, a like history meets 
us. Davy's discovery of the metallic bases of the alkalies and 
earths, revolutionized chemists' ideas. Passing over many other 
achievements in special chemistry, I may single out for their 
significance, the discoveries of Andi'ews, Tait, and especially of 
Brodie, respecting the constitution of ozone as an allotropic form 
of oxygen; and may join with these Brodie's discoveries respect- 
ing the aUotropic forms of carbon, as throwing so much light on 
allotropy at large. And then we come to the all-important dis- 
coveries, general and special, of the late Prof. Graham. The 



trutlis lie established respecting' the hydration of compounds, 
the transpiration and the diffusion of liquids, the transpiration 
and the diffusion of gases, the dialysis of liquids and the dialysis 
of gases, and the occlusion of gases by metals, are all of them 
cardinal truths. And even of still greater value is his lumiaous 
generalization respecting the crystalloid and colloid states of 
matter — a generalization which, besides throwing hght on many 
other phenomena, has given us an insight into organic processes 
previously incomprehensible. These results, reached by his 
beautifully-coherent series of researches extending over forty 
years, constitute a new revelation of the properties of matter. 

IsTeither is it true that in advancing the Concrete Sciences we 
have failed to do our share. Take the first in order — Astronomy. 
Though, for the long period during which our mathematicians 
were behind, Planetary Astronomy pi-ogressed but little in Eng- 
land, and the development of the Xewtonian theory was left 
chiefly to other nations, yet of late there has been no want of 
activity. When I have named the inverse problem of perturba- 
tions and the discovery of Neptune, the honour of which we 
share with the French, I have called to mind an achievement 
sufficiently remarkable. To Sidereal Astronomy we have made 
great contributions. Though the conception of Wright, of 
Durham, respecting stellar distribution was here so little at- 
tended to that when afterwards enunciated by Kant (who knew 
Wright's views) and by Sir W. Herschel, it was credited to 
them; yet since Sir W. Herschcl's time the researches in 
Sidereal Astronomy by Sir John Herschel and others, have done 
much to fui'ther this division of the science. Quite recently the 
discoveries made by Mr. Huggins respecting the velocities with 
which certain stars are approaching us and others receding, have 
opened a new field of inquiry ; and the inferences reached by 
Mr. Proctor respecting groupings of stars and the " drifting " of 
star-groups, now found to harmonize with the results otherwise 
reached by Mr. Huggins, go far to help ns in conceiving the con- 
stitution of GUI' galaxy. Nor must we forget how much has 


been done towards explaining' tlie physical constitutions of tlie 
heavenly bodies, as well as their motions : the natures of nebulae, 
and the processes going on in Sun and stars, have been greatly 
elucidated by Huggins, Lockyer, and others. 

In Geology, the progress made here, and especially the pro- 
gress in geological theory, is certainly not less — good judges say 
much greater — than has been made elsewhere. Just noting that 
English Geology goes back to Ray, whose notions were far more 
philosophical than those set forth long afterwards by Werner, 
we come to Hutton, with whom in fact rational Geology com- 
mences. For the untenable Neptunist hypothesis, asserting a 
once-universal aqueous action unlike the present, Hutton substi- 
tuted an aqueous action, marine and fluviatile, continuously 
operating as we now see it, antagonized by a periodic ignieoiis 
action. He recognized denudation as producing mountains and 
valleys ; he denied so-called primitive rocks ; he asserted meta- 
morphism ; he taught the meaning of unconformity. Since his 
day rapid advances in the same direction had been made. 
William Smith, by establishing the order of superposition of 
strata throughout England, prepared the way for positive gene- 
ralizations ; and by showing that contained fossils are safer 
tests of correspondence among strata than mineral characters, 
laid the basis for subsequent classifications. The better data 
thus obtained, theory quickly turned to account. In his Prin- 
ciples of Geology, Lyell elaborately worked out the uniformitarian 
doctrine — the doctrine that the Earth's crust has been brought 
to its present complex structure by the continuous operation of 
forces like those we see still at work. More recently, Prof. 
Ramsay's theory of lake-formation by glaciers has helped in the 
interpretation ; and by him, as well as by Prof. Huxley, mucli 
has been done towards elucidating past disiributions of conti- 
nents and oceans. Let me name, too, Mallet's Theory of Earth- 
quakes — the only scientific explanation of them yet given. And 
there must be added another fact of moment. Criticism has 
done far more here than abroad, towards overthrowing the crude 

<3 2 


hvpotlicsis of nniversal " systems " of strata, which succeeded 
the still cruder hypothesis of universal strata, enunciated by 

That our contributions to Biological science have in these 
later times not been unimportant, may, I think, be also main- 
tained. Just noting that the " natural system " of Plant-classi- 
fication, though French by development is English by origin, 
since Ray made its first great division and sketched out some of 
its sub- divisions ; we come, among English botanists, to Brown. 
He made a series of investigations in the morphology, classifica- 
tion, and distribution of plants, which in number and importance 
have never been equalled : the Prodromus Florce NovcB-Hollandim 
is the greatest achievement in classification since Jussieu's 
Natural Orders. Brown, too, it was who solved the mystery of 
plant-fertilization. Again, there is the conception that existing 
plant-distribution has been determined by past geological and 
physical changes — a conception we owe to Dr. Hooker, who has 
given us sundry wide interpretations in pursuance of it. In 
Animal-physiology there is Sir Charles Bell's discovery respect- 
ing the sensory and motor functions of the nerve-roots in tHe 
spinal cord ; and this underlies multitudinous interpretations of 
organic phenomena. More recently we have had Mr. Darwin's 
great addition to biological science. Following in the steps of 
his grandfather, who had anticipated Lamarck in enunciating 
the general conception of the genesis of organic forms by adap- 
tive modifications, but had not worked out the conception as 
Lamarck did, Mr. Darwin, perceiving that both of them were 
mistaken in attributing the modifications to causes which, though 
some of them true, were inadequate to account for all the effects, 
succeeded, by recognizing the further cause he called i!s^atnral 
Selection, in raising the hypothesis from a form but partially 
tenable to a quite tenable form. This view of his, so admirably 
xvorked out, has been adopted by the great majority of naturalists ; 
and, by making the pi'ocess of orgnnic evolution more compre- 
hensible, it is revolutionizing biological conceptions throughout 


the world. In the words of Professor Cohn, " no book of recent 
times has influenced the conceptions of modern science like the 
iirst edition of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species." ^^ ISTor should 
we overlook the various kindred minor discoveries, partly depen- 
dent, partly independent : Mr. Darwin's own respecting the 
dimorphism of flowers ; Mr. Bates's beautiful interpretation of 
mimicry in insects, which led the way to many allied interpre- 
tations ; Mr. Wallace's explanations of dimorjjhism and poly- 
morphism in Le-pidoptera. Finally, Professor Huxley, besides 
dissipating some serious biological errors of continental origin, 
has made important contributions to morphology and classifica- 

Nor does the balance turn against us on passing to the next- 
highest concrete science. After those earher inquiries by which 
Englishmen so largely advanced the Science of Mind, and set up 
much of the speculation subsequently active in Prance and Ger- 
many, there came a lull in English thinking ; and during this 
arose the absurd notion that the English are not a philosophical 
people. But the lull, ending some forty years ago, gave place to 
an activity which has quickly made up for lost time. On this 
point I need not rest in assertion, but will quote foreign testi- 
mony. The fii'st chapter of Prof. Ribot's work, La Fsycliologie 
Anglaise Contemporaine begins thus : — 

" ' Le sceptre de la psycliologie, dit M. Stuart Mill, est decidement 
revenu a TAngleterre.' On pourrait soutenir qu'il n'en est jamais sorti. 
Sans doute, les etudes psychologiques y sont maintenant cultivees par 
des hommes de premier ordre qui, par la solidite de lear niethode, et ce 
(i[ui est plus rare, par la precision de leurs resultats, ont fait entrer la 
science dans une periode uouvelle ; mais c'est plutot un redoublement 
qu'un renouvellement d'eclat." 

Similarly, on turning to Ethics considered under its psycho- 
logical aspect, we find foreign testimony that English thinkers 
have done most towards the elaboration of a scientific system. 
In the preface to his late work. La Morale nclla Filosofia Posi- 
tiLHi (meaning by " Positiva " simply scientific). Prof. Barzollotti, 


of Florence, states tliat for this reason he limits himself to an 
account of English speculation in this department.'® 

And then, if, instead of Psychology and Ethics, Philosophy at 
large conies in question, there is independent testimony of 
kindred nature to be cited. Thus, in the first number of La 
Critique Philosophique (8 Fevrier, 1872), published under the 
direction of M, Renouvier, the acting editor, M. Pillon, writes : — 

" On travaille beaucoup dans le champ des ideas en Angleterre. . . 
Non-seulement I'Angleterre surpasse la France par I'ardeur et le travail, 
ce qui est malheureusement bien peu dire, et par I'interet des investiga- 
tions et des debats de ses penseurs, mais mgme elle laisse loin derriere 
elle I'AUemagne en ce dernier isoint." 

And still more recently M. Martins, in the leading French 
])eriodical, has been referring to — 

" les nouvelles idees nees dans la libre Angleterre et appelees a trans- 
former un jour le^ sciences naturelles." '^ 

So that while Mr. Arnold is lamenting the want of ideas in 
England, it is discovered abroad that the genesis of ideas in 
England is very active. While he thinks our conceptions are 
commonplace, our neighbours find them new, to the extent of 
being revolutionary. Oddly enough, at the very time when he 
is reproaching his countrymen with lack of geist, Frenchmen are 
asserting that there is more geist hero than anywhere else ! Nor 
is there wanting testimony of kindred nature from otlier nations. 
In the lecture above cited. Dr. Cohn, while claiming for Ger- 
many a superiority in the number of her earnest workers, says 
that " England especially has always been, and is particularly 
now, rich in men whose scientific works are remarkable for their 
astonishing laboriousness, clearness, profundity, and indepen- 
dence of thought" — a further recognition of the truth that instead 
of merely plodding along the old ruts, the English strike out 
new tracks : are unusually imaginative. 

In his essay on the " Functions of Criticism at the Present 
Time," Mr. Arnold insists that the thing most needful for iis now, 
in all branches of knowledge, is " to see the object as in itself it 


really is " ; and in Friendship'' s Garland, his alter ego, Arminius, 
exhorts our Philistinism "to search and not rest till it sees 
things more as they really are." Above, I have done that which 
i\Ir. Arnold urges ; not by picking-up stray facts, but by a sys- 
tematic examination. Feeling sure that ilr. Arnold has himself 
taken the coui-se he advises, and is therefore familiar with all 
this evidence, as well as with the large quantity which might be 
added, I am somewhat puzzled on finding him draw from it a 
conclusion so different from that which presents itself to me. 
Were any one, proceeding on the foregoing data, to assert that 
since the beginning of this centuiy, more has been done in 
England to advance scientific knowledge than has ever been 
done in a like interval, at any time, in any country, I shoukl 
think his inference less wide of the truth than that which, 
strange to say, Mr. Arnold draws from the same data. 

And now to consider that which more immediately concerns 
us — the effect produced by the bias of anti-patriotism on socio- 
logical speculation. Whether in Mr. Arnold, whom I have 
ventured to take as a type, the leaning towards national self- 
depreciation was primary and the over- valuing of foreign insti- 
tutions secondary, or whether his admiration of foreign insti- 
tutions was the cause and his tendency to depreciatory estimates 
of our social state the effect, is a question which may be left 
open. For present purposes it suffices to observe that the two 
go together. Mr. Arnold is impatient with the unregulated and, 
as he thinks, anarchic state of our society ; and everywhere dis- 
plays a longing for more administrative and controlling agencies. 
" Force till right is ready," is one of the sayings he emphatically 
repeats : apparently in the belief that there can be a sudden 
transition from a coercive system to a non-coercive one — ignoring 
the truth that there has to be a continually-changing compro- 
mise between force and right, during which force decreases step 
by step as right increases step by step, and during which every 
step bi'ings some temporary evil along with its ultimate good. 


Thinking more force needful for us, and lauding institutions 
irhich exercise it, Mr. Arnold holds that even in our literature 
we should benefit by being under authoritative direction. Though 
he is not of opinion that an Academy would succeed here, he 
casts longing glances at the French Academy, and wishes we 
could have had over us an influence hke that to which he ascribes 
certain excellencies in French literature. 

The French Academy was established, as he points out, " to 
work with all the care and all the diligence possible at giving 
sure rules to our [the French] language, and rendering it pure, 
eloquent, and capable of treating the arts and sciences." Let us 
consider whether it has fulfilled this intention, by removing the 
most conspicuous defects of the language. Down to the 

present time, there is in daily use the expression qu'est ce que 
c'est ? and even qyCest ce que c'est que cela ? If in some remote 
corner of England is heard the analogous expression, — " what is 
that there here ?" it is held to imply entire absence of culture : 
the use of two superflous words proves a want of that close ad- 
justment of language to thought which even partially-educated 
persons among us have reached. How is it, then, that though in 
this French phrase there are five superfluous words (or six, if we 
take cela as two), the purifying criticism of the French Academy 
has not removed it from French speech — not even from the speech 
of the educated ? Or why, again, has the Academy not 

condemned, forbidden, and so expelled from the language, the 
double negative ? If among ourselves any one lets drop the 
sentence, " I didn't say nothing," the inevitable inference is 
that he has lived with the ill-taught ; and, further, that in his 
mind words and ideas answer to one another very loosely. Though 
in French the second negative is by derivation positive, yet in 
acquiring a negative meaning it became alike superfluous and 
illogical ; and its use should then have been interdicted, instead 
of being enforced. Once more, why has not the French 

Academy systematized the genders ? No one who considers Ian. 
guage as an instrument of thought, which is good in proportion 


as its special parts are definitely adjusted to special functions, 
can doubt that a meaningless use of genders is a defect. It is 
undeniable that to employ marks of gender in ways always sug- 
gesting attributes that are possessed, instead of usually suggesting 
attributes that are not possessed, is an improvement. Having an 
example of this improvement before them, why did not the 
Academy introduce it into French? And then — more 

significant question still — how, without the aid of any Academy, 
came the genders to be systematized in English ? Mr. Arnold, 
and those who, in common with him, seem to believe only in 
agencies that have visible organizations, might, perhaps, in seek- 
ing the answer to this question, lose faith in artificial appliances 
and gain faith in natural processes. For as, on asking the origin 
of language in general, we are reminded that all its complex, 
marvellously-adjusted parts and arrangements have been evolved 
without the aid or oversight of any embodied power. Academic 
or other ; so, on asking the origin of this particular improve- 
ment in language, we find that it, too, arose naturally. ISTay, 
more, it was made possible by one of those anarchic states which 
Mr. Arnold so much dislikes. Out of the conflict of Old-English 
dialects, sufficiently allied to co-operate but safliciently different 
to have contradictory marks of gender, there came a disuse of 
meaningless genders and a survival of the genders having mean- 
ing — a change which an Academy, had one existed here in those 
days, would doubtless have done its best to prevent ; seeing that 
dui'ing the transition there must have been a disregard of rules 
and apparent corruption of speech, out of which no benefit could 
have been anticipated. 

Another fact respecting the French Academy is by no means 
congruous with Mr. Arnold's conception of its value. The com- 
piling of an authoritative dictionary was a fit undertaking for it. 
Just recalling the well-known contrast between its dilatory exe- 
cution of this undertaking, and the active execution of a kindred 
one by Dr. Johnson, we have more especially to note the recent 
like contrast between the performances of the Academy and the 


performances of M. Littre. The Academy lias long had in hand 
two dictionaries — the one a second edition of its original dic- 
tionary, the other an historical dictionary. The first is at letter 
D ; and the initial number of the other, containing A — B, issued 
fifteen years ago, has not yet had a successor. Meanwhile, M. 
Littr6, single-handed, has completed a dictionary which, besides 
doing all that the two Academy- dictionaries propose to do, does 
much more. With which marvellous contrast we have to join 
the startling fact, that M. Littr^ was refused admission to the 
Academy in 1863, and at length admitted in 1871 only after 
violent opposition. 

Even if we pass over these duties which, in pursuance of its 
original purpose, the French Academy might have been expected 
to perform, and limit ourselves to the duty Mr. Arnold especially 
dwells upon — the duty of keeping "the fine quality of the French 
spirit unimpaired," and exercising "the authority of a recognised 
master in matters of tone and taste" (to quote his approving 
paraphrase of M. Renan's definition) — ^it may still, I think, be 
doubted whether there have been achieved by it the benefits Mr. 
Arnold alleges, and whether there have not been caused gi'eat 
evils. That its selection of raembers has tended to encourage 
bad literature instead of good, seems not improbable when we 
are reminded of its past acts, as we are in the well-known letter 
of Paul-Louis Courier, in which there occurs this, among other 
passages similarly damaging : — 

" Un due et pair honore I'Academie frangaise, qui ne vent point de 
Boileau, refuse la Bruyfere .... mais revolt tout d'abord Chape- 
lain et Conrart. De meme nous voyons a I'Academie grecque le vicomte 
invite, Corai rej)ouss6, lorsque Jomard y entre comnie dans im 
nionlin." '* 

Nor have its verdicts upon great works been such as to encourage 
confidence : instance the fact that it condemned the Cid of Cor- 
neille, now one of the glories of French literature. Its critical 
doctrines, too, have not been beyond question. Upholding those 
canons of dramatic art which so long excluded the romantic 


drama, and maintained the feeling shown by calling Shakspeare 
an "intoxicated barbarian," may possibly have been more detri- 
mental than beneficial. And when we look, not at snch select 
samples of French literary taste as Mr. Arnold quotes, but at 
samples from the other extreme, we may question whether the 
total effect has been great. If, as Mr. Arnold thinks, France 
"is the country in Europe where the people is most alive," it 
clearly is not alive to the teachings of the Academy : witness 
the recent revival of the Fere Duchene ; the contents of which 
are no less remarkable for their astounding obscenity than for 
their utter stupidity. Nay, when we look only where we are 
told to look — only where the Academy exercises its critical 
function on modern literature, we find reason for scepticism. 
Instance the late award of the Halphen Prize to the author of a 
series of poems called L'Invasion, of which M. Patin, a most 
favourable critic, says : — 

" Their chief characteristic is a warmth of sentiment and a 'verve,' 
which one would wish to see under more restraint, but against wliich 
one hesitates to set up, however just might be their apphcation under 
other circumstances, the cold requirements of taste." 

Thus we have the Academy pandering to the popular feeling. 
The ebullitions of a patriotic sentiment which it is the misfortune 
of France to possess in too great a degree, are not checked by 
the Academy but encouraged by it : even at the expense, of good 

And then, lastly, observe that some of the most cultivated 
Frenchmen, not so well satisfied with institutions of the Academy- 
type as Mr. Arnold seems to be, have recently established, on an 
English model, a French Association for the Advancement of 
Science. Here are passages from their prospectus, published 
in La Revue Scientifiqite, 20 Janvier, 1872 ; commencing mth an 
account of the founding of the Royal Institution : — 

" II y avait cinqnante-huit membres presents a cette reunion. Chacuii 
d'eux souscrivit, sans plus attendre, une action de cinquante guinees ; 
c'est a peu prfes treize cents francs de notre monnaie, qui en vaudraien' 


atijourd'hui bien pres de deux mille cinque. Le lendemain, la Societe 
[Institution] royale de Londres etait constituee. 

" On salt depuis ce qu'elle est devenue. 

" Ce qu'ont fait les Anglais en 1799, d'illustres savants de notre pays 
veulent le lenouveleraujourd'hui pour la France. 

" Eux aussi. ils ont jug6, comme Runifort au siecle dernier, que la 
vieille suprematie du noni fran^ais dans tons les ordres de sciences 
commen9ait a etre serieusement 6branlee, et risquait de s'ecrouler ur 

" A Dieu ne plaise qu'ils accusent I'Academie de cette decadence ! 
ils en font presque tous partie eux-memes. Mais I'Acaderaie, qui a 
conserve en Europe le prestige de son nom, s'enferme un pcu plus dans 
la majeste de sa grandeur. EUe ne possede ni des nioyeus d'action assez 
puissants, ni una energie assez active pour les mettre en cEuvre. Le nerf 
de la guerre, I'argent, lui manque, et plus encore peut-elre I'initiative 
intelligente et hardie. EUe s'est endorniie dans le respect de ses tradi- 
tions seculaires." 

A further testimony from a foreigner to the value of our 
methods of aiding intellectual progress, in comparison ■o'ith 
continental methods, has been still more, recently given by 
M. Alphonse de Candolle, in his Eistoire des Sciences et des 
Savants. His fear for us is that we may adopt the continental 
policy and abandon our ovm.. Respecting Science in England, 
he says : — 

" Je ne vois qu'un seul indice de faiblesse pour I'avenir, c'est rme 
disposition croissante des hommes de science a solliciter I'appui du 
gouvernement. On dirait qu'ils ne se fient plus aux forces individu- 
elles, dont le resultat pourtaut a 6te si admhable dans leur pays." '' 

Thus, curiously enough, we find another contrast parallel to 
that noted already. As with English ideas so with English 
systems — Avhile depreciated at home they are eulogized abroad. 
While Mr. Arnold is lauding French institutions, Frenchmen, 
recognizing their shortcomings, are adopting English institutions. 
From which we may faii'ly infer that, great as is Mr. Arnold's 
desire " to see the object as in itself it really is," he has not in 
this case succeeded ; and that, endeavoming to escape the bias 


of patriotism, he has been carried too far the other way by the 
bias of anti-patriotism.^" 

One more illustration of the effect this bias has on Mr. Arnold 
calls for brief comment. Along with his over-valuation of 
foreign regulative institutions, there goes an under- valuation of 
institutions at home which do not exhibit the kind of regulation 
he thinks desirable, and stand in the way of authoritative control. 
I refer to those numerous Dissenting organizations characterizing 
this "anarchy" of ours, which Mr. Arnold curiously makes the 
antithesis to " culture." 

Mr. Arnold thinks that as a nation we show undue faith in 

" Faith m machinery is, I said, our besetting danger What 

is freedom but machinery ? what is population but machinery ? what is 
coal but machinery ? what are railroads but machinery ? what is wealth 
but machinery? what are religious organizations but machinery ?"-i 

And in pursuance of this conception he regards the desire to 
get Church-rates abolished and certain restrictions on marriao-e 
removed, as proving undue belief in machinery among Dissenters ; 
while his own disbelief in machinery he considers proved by 
wishing for stronger governmental restraints,"" by lauding the 
supervision of an Academy, and by upholding a Church-estab- 
lishment. I must leave unconsidered the question whether an 
Academy, if we had one, would authorize this use of language ; 
which makes it seem that voluntary religious agency is machineiy 
and that compulsory religious agency is not machinery. I must 
pass over, too, Mr. Arnold's comparison of Ecclesiasticism and 
IN'onconformity in respect of the men they have produced. Nor 
have I space to examine what he says about the mental attitudes 
of the two. It must suffice to say that were the occasion fit, it 
might be shown that his endeavour "to see the object as in 
itself it really is," has not succeeded much better in this case 
than in the cases above dealt with. Here I must limit myself 
to a single criticism. 


The trait whicli in Mr. Arnold's view of IS'onconformity seems 
to me most remarkable, is that in breadth it so little transcends 
the view of the ^Nonconformists themselves. The two views 
greatly differ in one respect — antipathy replaces sympathy ; but 
the two views are not widely unlike in extension. Avoiding that 
provincialism of thought which he says characterizes Dissenters, 
I should have expected Mr. Arnold to estimate Dissent, not under 
its local and temporary aspect, but under its general aspect as a 
factor in all societies at all times. Though the IsTonconformists 
themselves think of IlNonconformity as a phase of Protestantism 
in England, Mr. Arnold's studies of other nations, other ages, 
and other creeds, would, I should have thought, have led him to 
regard ^Nonconformity as a universal power in societies, which 
has in our time and country its particular embodiment, but 
which is to be understood only when contemplated in all its 
other embodiments. The thing is one in spirit and tendency, 
whether shown among the Jews or the Greeks — whether in 
Catholic Europe or in Protestant England. Wherever there is 
disao-reement with a current belief, no matter what its nature, 
there is Nonconformity. The open expression of difference and 
avowed opposition to that which is authoritatively established, 
constitutes Dissent, whether the religion be Pagan or Christian, 
Monotheistic or Polytheistic. The relative attitudes of the dis- 
senter and of those in power, are essentially the same in all 
cases ; and in all cases lead to persecution and vituperation. 
The Grreeks who poisoned Socrates were moved by just th? 
same sentiment as the Catholics who burnt Cranmer, or as th^ 
Protestant Churchmen who imprisoned Bunyan and pelted Wes- 
ley. And while the manifestations of feeling are essentially the 
same, while the accompanying evils are essentially the same, tho 
resulting benefits are essentially the same. Is it not a truism 
that without divergence from that which exists, whether it be in 
politics, religion, manners, or anything else, there can be no pro- 
o-ress ? And is it not an obvious corollary that the temporary 
ills accompanying the divergence, are out-balanced by the 


erentiial good? It is certain, as Mr. Arnold holds, tliat sub- 
ordination is essential ; but it is also certain that insubordination 
is essential — essential, if there is to be any unprovement. There 
are two extremes in the state of a social aggregate, as of every 
other aggregate, which are fatal to evolution — rigidity and in- 
coherence. A medium plasticity is the healthful condition. On 
the one hand, a force of established structures and habits and 
beliefs, such as offers considerable resistance to change ; on the 
other hand, an originality, an independence, and an opposition to 
authority, energetic enough to overcome the resistance little by 
little. And while the political nonconformity we call Radicalism 
has the function of thus gradually modifying one set of institu- 
tions, the religious nonconformity we call Dissent has the function 
of thus gradually modifying another set. 

That Mr. Arnold does not take this entirely-unprovincial view, 
which would lead him to look on Dissenters with less aversion, 
may in part, I think, be ascribed to that over- valuation of foreign 
restraints and under- valuation of home freedom, which his bias 
of anti-patriotism fosters ; and serves further to illustrate the dis- 
tui'bing effects of this bias on sociological speculation. 

And now to sum up this somewhat-too-elaborate argument. 
The general truth that by incorporation in his society, the 
citizen is in a measure incapacitated for estimating rightly its 
characters and actions in relation to those of other societies, has 
been made abundantly manifest. And it has been made manifest, 
also, that when he strives to emancipate himself from these 
influences of race, and country, and locaHty, which warp his 
judgment, he is apt to have his judgment warped in the opposite 
way. From the perihelion of patriotism he is carried to the 
aphelion of anti-patriotism ; and is almost certain to form views 
that are more or less excentric, instead of circular, all-sided, 
balanced views. 

Partial escape from this difficulty is promised by basing our 
sociological conckisions chiefly on comparisons made among other 


societies — excluding our own. But even then these perverting 
sentiments are sure to intrude more or less ; for we cannot con- 
template the institutions of other nations without our sympathies 
or antipathies being in some degree aroused by consciousness of 
likeness or xmlikeness to our own institutions. Discounting our 
conclusions as well as we may, to allow for the errors we are 
thus led into, we must leave the entu'e elimination of such errors 
to a future in which the decreasing antagonisms of societies will 
go along with decreasing intensities of these sentiments. 



Many years ago a solicitor sitting by me at dinner, com- 
plained bitterly of the injury wbicli the then lately-established 
Coimty Courts, were doing his profession. He enlarged on the 
topic in a way implying that he expected me to agree with him 
in therefore condemning them. So incapable was he of going 
beyond the professional point of view, that what he regarded as 
a grievance he thought I also ought to regard as a grievance : 
oblivious of the fact that the more economical administration of 
justice of which his lamentation gave me proof, was to me, not 
being a lawyer, matter for rejoicing. 

The bias thus exemplified is a bias by which nearly all have 
their opinions warped. Naval officers disclose their unhesitatiag 
belief that we are in imminent danger because the cry for more 
fighting ships and more sailors has not been to their satis- 
faction. The debates on the purchase- system proved how strong 
was the conviction of military men that our national safety de- 
pended on the maintenance of an army- organization like that in 
which they were brought up, and had attained their respec- 
tive ranks. Clerical opposition to the Com- Laws showed how 
completely that view which Christian ministers might have been 
expected to take, was shut out by a view more congruous with 
their interests and alliances. In all classes and sub-classes it 
is the same. Hear the murmurs uttered when, because of the 
Queen's absence, there is less expenditure in entertainments and 



the so-called gaieties of the season, and you perceive that London 
traders think the nation sufl^ers if the consumption of super- 
fluities is checked. Study the pending controversy about 
co-operative stores versus retail shops, and you find the shop- 
keeping mind possessed by the idea that Society commits a 
■\\Tong if it deserts shops and goes to stores — is quite uncon- 
scious that the present distributing system rightly exists only as 
a means of economically and conveniently supplying consumers, 
and must yield to another system if that should prove more 
economical and convenient. Similarly with other trading 
bodies, general and special-— similarly with the merchants who 
opposed the repeal of the Navigation Laws ; similarly with the 
Coventry- weavers, who like free-trade in all things save ribbons. 

The class-bias, like the bias of patriotism, is a reflex egoism ; 
and like it has its uses and abuses. As the strong attach- 
ments citizens feel for their nation cause that enthusiastic co- 
operation by which its integrity is maintained in presence of 
other nations, severally tending to spread and subjugate their 
neighbours ; so the esprit de corps more or less manifest in each 
specialized part of the the body politic, prompts measures to 
preserve the integrity of that part in opposition to other parts, all 
somewhat antagonistic. The egoism of individuals leads to an 
egoism of the class they form ; and besides the separate efforts, 
generates a joint effort to get an undue share of the aggregate 
proceeds of social activity. The aggressive tendency of each class, 
thus produced, has to be balanced by hke aggi'essive tendencies 
of other classes. The implied feehngs do, in short, develop 
one another ; and the respective organizations in which they em- 
body themselves develop one another. Large classes of the 
community marked-off by rank, and sub-classes marked-off by 
special occupations, severally combine, and severally set up 
organs advocating their interests : the reason assigned being in 
all cases the same — the need for self-defence. 

Along with the good which a society derives from this self- 


asserting and self-preserving action, by which each division and 
sub-division keeps itself strong enough for its functions, there 
goes, among other evils, this which we are considering — the apt- 
ness to contemplate all social arrangements in their bearings on 
class-interests, and the resulting inability to estimate rightly 
their effects on Society as a whole. The habit of thought pro- 
duced (perverts not merely the judgments on questions which 
directly touch class- welfare ; but it perverts the judgments on 
questions which touch class-welfare very indirectly, if at all. 
It fosters an adapted theory of social relations of every kind, 
with sentiments to fit the theory ; and a characteristic stamp 
is given to the beliefs on public matters in general. Take an 

Whatever its technical ownership may be, Hyde Park is open 
for the public benefit : no title to special benefit is producible 
by those who ride and drive. It happens, however, that those 
who ride and drive make large use of it daily ; and extensive 
tracts of it have been laid out for their convenience : the tracts 
for equ.estrians having been from time to time increased. Of 
people without carriages and horses, a few, mostly of the kinds 
who lead easy lives, use Hyde Park frequently as a promenade. 
Meanwhile, by the great mass of Londoners, too busy to go so 
far, it is scarcely ever visited : their share of the general benefit 
is scarcely appreciable. And now what do the few who have a 
constant and almost exclusive use of it, think about the occa- 
sional use of it by the many ? They are angry when, at long 
intervals, even a small portion of it, quite distant from their 
haunts, is occupied for a few hours in ways disagreeable to 
them — nay, even when such temporary occupation is on a day 
during which Rotten Row is nearly vacant and the drives not 
one-third filled. In this, anyone unconcerned may see the 
influence „of the class-bias. But he will have an inadequate 
conception of its distorting power unless he turns to some letters 
from members of the ruliag class published in the Times in 
November last, when the question of the Park- Rules was being 

E 2 


agitated. One writer, signing himself " A Liberal M.P.," ex- 
pressing Ms disgust at certain addresses lie heard, proposed, if 
others would join him, to give the offensive speakers punishment 
by force of fists ; and then, on a subsequent day, another legis- 
lator, similarly moved, writes : — 

" If ' M.P.' is in earnest in his desire to get some honest men together 
to take the law into their own hands, I can promise him a pretty good 
hacking from those who are not afraid to take all the consecjuences. 
" I am. Sir, your obedient servant, 

"AN EX-M.P." 

And thus we find class-feeling extinguishing rational political 
thinking so completely that, wonderful to relate, two law-makers 
propose to support the law by breaking the law ! 

In larger ways we have of late seen the class-bias doing the 
same thing — causing contempt for those principles of constitu- 
tional government slowly and laboriously established, and 
prompting a return to barbaric principles of government. Eead 
the debate about the payment of Grovernor Eyre's expenses, and 
study the division-lists, and you see that acts which, according 
to the Lord Chief Justice, " have brought reproach not only 
on those who were parties to them, but on the very name of 
England," can nevertheless find numerous defenders among men 
whose class-positions, military, naval, official, &c., make them 
love power and detest resistance. Nay more, by raising an 
Eyre- Testimonial Eund and in other ways, there was shown a 
deliberate approval of acts which needlessly suspended orderly 
government and substituted unrestrained despotism. There was 
shown a deliberate ignoring of the essential question raised, 
which was — whether an executive head might, at will, set aside 
aU those forms of administration by which men's lives and liber- 
ties" are guarded against tyranny. 

More recently, this same class-bias has been shown by the 
protest made when Mr. Cowan was dismissed for executing the 
Kooka rioters who had surrendered. The Indian Government, 
having inquired into the particulars, found that this killing of 


many men witliout form of law and contrary to orders, could not 
be defended on the plea of pressing danger ; and finding this, it 
ceased to employ the officer who had committed so astounding 
a deed, and removed to another province the sujDcrior officer who 
had approved of the deed. Not excessive punishment, one would 
say. Some might contend that extreme mildness was shown in 
thus inflicting no greater evil than is inflicted on a labourer 
when he does not execute his work properly. But now mark 
what is thought by one who displays in words the bias of the 
governing classes, intensified by life in India. In a letter pub- 
lished in the Times of May 15, 1872, the late Sir Donald M'Leod 
writes concerning this dismissal and removal : — 

" All the information that reaches me tends to prove that a severe 
blow has been given to all chance of vigorous or independent action in 
future, when emergencies may arise. The whole service appears to have 
been astonished aud appalled by the mode in which the officers have 
been dealt with." 

That we may see clearly what amazing perversions of senti- 
ment and idea are caused by contemplating actions from class 
points of view, let us turn from this feeling of sympathy vdth. 
Mr. Cowan, to the feeling- of detestation shown by members of 
the same class in England towards a man who kills a fox that 
destroys his poultry. Here is a paragraph from a recent 
paper : — 

" Five poisoned foxes have been found in the neighbourhood of Pen- 
zance, and there is consequently great indignation among the western 
sportsmen. A reward of 201. has been offered for information that shall 
lead to the conviction of the poisoner." 

So that wholesale homicide, condenxned alike by religion, by 
equity, by law, is approved, and the mildest punishment of it 
blamed; while vulpicide, committed in defence of property, and 
condemned neither by religion, nor hj equity, nor by any law 
save that of sportsmen, excites an anger that cries aloud for 
positive penalties ! 

I need not fui-ther illustrate the more special distortions of 


sociological belief -wliich result from the class-bias. They may 
be detected in the conversations over eveiy table, and in the 
articles appearing in every party-jonmal or professional publica- 
tion. The effects here most worthy of onr attention are the 
general effects — the effects produced on the minds of the upper 
and lower classes. Let us observe how greatly the prejudices 
generated by their respective social positions, pervert the con- 
ceptions of einployers and employed. We will deal with the 
employed first. 

As before shown, mere associations of ideas, especially when 
joined with emotions, affect our beliefs, not simply without 
reason but in spite of reason — causing us, for instance, to think 
there is something intrinsically repugnant in a place where many 
painful experiences have been received, and something intrinsi- 
cally charming in a scene connected with many past delights. 
The hability to such perversions of judgment is greatest where 
persons are the objects with which pleasures and pains arc 
habitually associated. One who has often been, even uninten- 
tionally, a cause of gratification, is favourably judged ; and an 
unfavourable judgment is formed of one who, even involun- 
tarily, has often inflicted sufferings. Hence, when there are 
social antagonisms, arises the universal tendency to blame the 
individuals, and to hold them responsible for the system. 

It is thus with the conceptions the working-classes frame of 
those by whom they are immediately employed, and of those 
who fill the higher social positions. Feeling keenly what they 
have to bear, and tracing sundry real grievances to men who buy 
their labour and men who are most influential in making the 
laws, artizans and rustics conclude that, considered individually 
and in combination, those above them are personally bad — 
selfish, or tyrannical, in special degrees. It never occurs to them 
that the evils they complain of result from the average human 
nature of our age. And yet were it not for the class-bias, they 
would see in their dealings with one another, plenty of proofs 


fhat the injustices tliey suffer are certainly not greater, and pos- 
sibly less, than they would be were the higher social functions 
discharged by individuals taken from among themselves. The 
simple fact, notorious enough, that working-men who save money 
and become masters, are not more considerate than usual to- 
wards those they employ, but often the contrary, might alone 
convince them of this. On all sides there is ample evidence 
having kindred meaning. Let them inquire about the life in 
every kitchen where there are several servants, and they will 
find quarrels about supremacy, tyrannies over juniors who are 
made to do more than their proper work, throwings of blame 
from one to another, and the many forms of misconduct caused 
by want of right feeling ; and very often the evils growing up in 
one of these small groups exceed in intensity the evils pervading 
society at large. The doings in workshops, too, illustrate in 
various ways the ill-treatment of artizans by one another. 
Hiding the tools and spoiling the work of those who do not 
conform to their unreasonable customs, prove how little indi- 
vidual freedom is respected among them. And still more con- 
spicuously is this proved by the internal governments of their 
ti'ade-combinations. Not to dwell on the occasional killing of 
men among them who assert their rights to sell their labour as 
they please, or on the frequent acts of violence and intimidation 
committed by those on strike against those who undertake the 
work they have refused, it suffices to cite the despotism exercised 
by trades-union officers. The daily acts of these make it mani- 
fest that the ruling powers set up by working-men, inflict on 
them grievances as great as, if not greater than, those inflicted 
by the ruling powers, political and social, which they decry. 
When the heads of an association he has joined forbid a collier 
to work more than three days in the week — when he is limited 
to a certain " get " in that space of time — when he dares not 
accept from his employer an increasing bonus for every extra 
day he works — when, as a reason for declining, he says that he 
should be made miserable by his comrades, and that even his 


wife would not be spoken to ; it becomes clear tbat he and tlie 
rest have made for themselves a tyranny worse than the tyran- 
nies complained of. Did he look at the facts apart from class- 
bias, the skilful artizan, who in a given time can do more than 
his fellows, but who dares not do it because he would be " sent 
to Coventry " by them, and who consequently cannot reap the 
benefit of his superior powers, would see that he is thus aggressed ' 
upon by his fellows more seriously than by Acts of Parliament 
or combinations of capitalists. And he would further see that 
the sentiment of justice in his own class is certainly not greater 
than in the classes he thinks so unjust. 

The feeling which thus warps working-men's conceptions, at 
the same time prevents them from seeing that each of their 
unions is selfishly aiming to benefit at the expense of the indus- 
trial population at large. When an association of carpenters or 
of en^neers makes rules limiting the number of apprentices 
admitted, with the view of maintaining the rate of wages paid to 
to its members — when it thus tacitly says to every applicant 
beyond the number allowed, " Go and apprentice yourself else- 
where ; " it is indirectly saying to all other bodies of artizans, 
" You may have your wages lowered by increasing your numbers, 
but we will not." And when the other bodies of artizans seve- 
rally do the like, the general result is that the incorporated 
workers of all orders, say to the surplus sons of workers who 
want to find occupations, "We will none of us let our masters 
employ you." Thus each trade, in its eagerness for self-protec- 
tion, is regardless of other trades, and sacrifices numbers among 
the rising generation of the artizan-class. Nor is it thus 

only that the interest of each class of artizans is pursued to the 
detriment of the artizan-class in general. I do not refer to the 
way in which when bricklayers strike they thi-ow out of employ- 
ment the labourers who attend them, or to the way in which the 
colliers now on strike have forced idleness on the ironworkers ; 
but I refer to the way in which the course taken by any one set 
of operatives to get higher wages, is taken regardless of the fact 


that an eventual rise in tlie price of the commodity produced, is 
a disadvantage to all other operatives. The class-bias, fostering 
the belief that the question in each case is entii'ely one between 
employer and employed, between capital and labour, shuts out 
the truth that the interests of all consumers are involved, and 
that the immense majority of consumers belong to the workmg- 
classes themselves. If the consumers are named, such of them 
only are remembered as belong to the wealthier classes, who, it 
is thought, can well afford to pjy higher prices. Listen to a 
passage from Mr. George Potter's paper read at the late Leeds 
Congress : — 

" The consumer, in fact, in so high a civilization, so arrogant a luxu- 
riousness, and so impatient an expectancy as characterize him in our 
land and age, is ever ready to take the alarm and to pom- out the viala 
of his wrath upon those whom he merely suspects of taking a course 
which may keep a feather out of his bed, a spice out of his dish, or a coal 
out of his fire; and, unfortunately for the chances of fairness, the weight 
of his anger seldom falls upon the capitalists, but is most certain to 
come crushing down upon the lowly labourer, who has dared to stand 
upon his own right and independence." 

From which it might be supposed that all skilled and unskilled 
artizans, all farm-labourers, all other workers, with all their wives 
and children, live upon air — need no food, no clothing, no furni- 
ture, no houses, and are therefore unaffected by enhanced prices 
of commodities. However fully prepared for the distorting 
effects of class-bias, one would hardly have expected effects so 
great. One would have thought it manifest even to an extreme 
partizan of trades-unions, that a strike which makes coals as dear 
again, affects in a relatively- small degree the thousands of rich 
consumers above described, and is very keenly felt by the millions 
of poor consumers, to whom in winter the outlay for coal is a 
seriow-S item of expenditure. One would have thought that a 
truth SO obvious in this case, would be recognized throughout — 
the truth that with nearly all products of industry, the evil 
caused by a rise of price falls more heavily on the vast numbers 


who work for wages than on the small mimbers who have 
moderate incomes or large incomes. 

Were not their judgments warped by the class-bias, working- 
men might be more pervious to the truth that better forms of 
industrial organization would grow up and extinguish the forms 
which they regard as oppressive, were such better forms practic- 
able. And they might see that the impracticability of better 
forms results from the imperfections of existing human nature, 
moral and intellectual. If the workers in any business could so 
combine and govern themselves that the share of profit coming 
to them as workers was greater than now, while the interest on 
the capital employed Avas less than now ; and if they could at 
the same time sell the articles pl-oduced at lower rates than like 
articles produced in businesses managed as at present ; then, 
manifestly, businesses managed as at present would go to the 
wall. That they do not go to the wall — that such better in- 
dustrial organizations do not replace them, implies that the 
natures of working-men themselves are not good enough ; or, at 
least, that there are not many of them good enough. Happily, 
to some extent organizations of a superior type are becoming 
possible : here and there they have achieved encoiu'aging suc- 
cesses. But, speaking generally, the masses are neither suf- 
ficiently provident, nor sufficiently conscientious, nor sufficiently 
intelligent. Consider the evidence. 

That they are not provident enough they show both by wast- 
ing their higher wages when they get them, and by neglecting 
such opportiTuities as occur of entering into modified forms of 
co-operative industry. When the Gloucester Waggon Company 
was formed, it was decided to reserve a thousand of its shares, 
of £10 each, for the workmen employed ; and to suit them, 
it was arranged that the calls of a pomid each should be at 
intervals of three months. As many of the men earned £2 10s. 
per week, in a locality where Hving is not costly, it was con- 
sidered that the taking-up of shares in this manner would be 
quite practicable. All the circumstances were at the outset such 


as to promise that prosperity wliich the company has since 
achieved. The chairman is no less remarkable for his skill in 
the conduct of large undertakings than for that sympathy with 
the working-classes which led him to adopt this course. The 
manager had been a working-man ; and possessed the confidence 
of working-men in so high a degree, that many migrated with 
him from the Midland counties when the company was formed. 
Further, the manager entered heartily into the plan — telling me 
himself, that he had rejoiced over the founding of a concern in 
which those employed would have an interest. His hopes, how- 
ever, and those of the chairman, were disappointed. After the 
lapse of a year not one of the thousand shares was taken up ; 
and they were then distributed among the proprietors. Doubt- 
less, there have been in other cases more encouraging results. 
But this case is one added to others which show that the pro- 
portion of working-men adequately provident, is not great enough 
to permit an extensive growth of better industrial organizations.' 
Again, the success of industrial organizations higher in type, 
requires in the members a nicer sense of justice than is at pre- 
sent general. Closer co-operation implies greater mutual trust ; 
and greater mutual trust is not possible without more respect for 
one another's claims. When we find that in sick-clubs it is not 
uncommon for members to continue receiving aid when they are 
able to work, so that spies have to be set to check them ; while, 
on the other hand, those who administer the funds often cause 
insolvency by embezzling them ; we cannot avoid the inference 
that want of conscientiousness prevents the effective union of 
workers under no regulation but their own. When, among 
skilled labourers, we find a certain rate per hour demanded, 
because less "did not suffice for their natural wants," though 
the unskilled labourers working ander them were receiving little 
more than half the rate per hour, and were kept out of the 
skilled class by stringent rules, we do not discover a moral sense 
so much above that shown by employers as to promise success 
for industrial combinations superior to our present ones. While 


workmen think themselves justified in combining to sell their 
labour only on certain terms, but think masters not justified in 
combining to buy it only on certain terms, they show a concep- 
tion of equity not high ei>ough to make practicable a form of 
co-operation requiring that eacb stall recognize the claims of 
others as fully as bis own. One pervading misconception of 
justice betrayed by them would alone sufiice to cause failure — 
the misconception, namely, that justice requires an equal sharing 
of benefits among producers, instead of requiring, as it does, 
equal freedom to make the best of their faculties. The general 
policy of trades- unionism, tending everywhere to restrain tbe 
superior from profiting by his superiority lest the inferior should 
be disadvantaged, is a policy which, acted out in any industrial 
combinations, must make them incapable of competing with com- 
binations based on the principle that benefit gained sball be pro- 
tioncd to faculty put fortb. 

Thus, as acting on the employed in general, tbe class-bias 
obscures the truth, otherwise not easy to see, that the existing 
type of industrial organization, like the existing type of political 
organization, is about as good as existing human nature allows. 
The evils there are in it are nothing but the evils brouglit round 
on men by their own imperfections. The relation of master and 
workman has to be tolerated, because, for the time being, no 
other will answer as well. Looked at apart from special interests, 
this organization of industry we now see around ns, must be 
considered as one in which the cost of regulation, though not so 
great as it once was, is still excessive. In any industrial com- 
bination there must be a regulating agency. That regulating 
agency, whatever its nature, must be paid for — must involve a 
deduction from the total proceeds of the labour regulated. The 
present system is one under which the share of the total proceeds 
that goes to pay for regulation, is considerable ; and under better 
systems to be expected hereafter, there will doubtless be a, de- 
crease in the cost of regulation. But, for the present, our com- 
paratively-costly system has the justification that it alone succeeds. 


Regulation is costly because the men to be regulated are defec- 
tive. Witb decrease of their defects will come economy of 
regulation, and consequently greater shares of profit to them- 

Let me not be misunderstood. The foregoing criticism does 
not imply that operatives have no grievances to complain of ; 
nor does it imply that trade- combinations and strikes are without 
adequate justifications. It is quite possible to hold that when, 
instead of devouring their captured enemies, men made slaves 
of them, the change was a step in advance ; and to hold that 
this slavery, though absolutely bad, was relatively good — was 
the best thing practicable for the time being. It is quite pos- 
sible also to hold that when slavery gave place to a serfdom 
under which certain personal rights were recognized, the new 
arrangement, though in the abstract an inequitable one, was 
more equitable than the old, and constituted as great an amelio- 
ration as men's natures then permitted. It is quite possible to 
hold that when, instead of serfs, there came fi'eemen working for 
wages, biit held as a class in extreme subordination, this modified 
relation of employers and employed, though bad, was as good a 
one as could then be established. And so it may be held that at 
the present time, though the form of industrial government en- 
tails serious evils, those evils, much less than the evils of past 
times, are as small as the average human nature allows — are not 
due to any special injustice of the employing class, and can be 
remedied only as fast as men in general advance. On the 

other hand, while contending that the policy of trades-unions 
and the actions of men on strike, manifest an injustice as great 
as that shown by the employing classes, it is quite consistent to 
admit, and even to assert, that the evil acts of trade-combinations 
are the unavoidable accompaniments of a needful self-defence. 
Selfishness on the one side resisting selfishness on the other, 
inevitably commits sins akin to those it complains of — cannot 
effectually check harsh dealings without itself using harsh 
measures. Further, it may be fully admitted that the evils of 


working-class combmations, great as they are, go along witli 
certain benefits, and will hereafter be foUowed by greater benefits 
— are evils involved by the transition to better arrangements. 

Here my purpose is neither to condemn nor to appland the 
ideas and actions of the employed in their dealings with em- 
ployers ; but simply to point out how the class-bias warps work- 
ing-men's judgments of social relations — makes it difficult for 
working-men to see that our existing industrial system is a pro- 
duct of existing human nature, and can be improved only as 
fast as human nature improves. 

The ruling and employing classes display an equally-strong 
bias of the opposite kind. From their point of view, the beha- 
viour of their poorer fellow-citizens throughout these struggles 
appears uniformly blamable. That they experience from a strike 
inconvenience more or less considerable, sufficiently proves to 
them that the strike must be -wrong. They think there is some- 
thing intolerable in this independence which leads to refusals to 
work except at higher wages or for shorter times. That the 
many should be so reckless of the welfare of the few, seems to the 
few a grievance not to be endured. Though Mr. George Potter, 
as shown above, wi'ongly speaks of the consumer as though he 
were always rich, instead of being, in niue cases out of ten, poor ; 
yet he rightly describes the rich consumer as indignant when 
operatives dare to take a course which threatens to raise the 
prices of necessaries and make luxui-ies more costly. This fecl- 
ino", often betrayed in private, exhibited itself in public on the 
occasion of the late strike among the gas-stokers ; when there 
were uttered proposals that acts entaiHng so much annoyance 
should be put down with a strong hand. And the same spirit 
was shown in that straining of the law which brought on the 
men the punishment for conspiracy, instead of the punishment 
for breach of contract ; which was well deserved, and woidd have 
been quite sufficient. 

This mental attitude of the employing classes is daily shown 


by the criticisms passed on sei'vants. Read The Greatest Plagtie 
in Life, or listen to the complaints of every housewife, and you 
see that the minds of masters and mistresses are so much occu- 
pied with their own interests as to leave little room for the 
interests of the men and maids in their service. The very title, 
The Greatest Plague in Life, implies that the only life worthy of 
notice is the life to which servants minister; and thpre is an 
entire unconsciousness that a book with the same title, written 
by a servant about masters and mistresses, might he filled with 
equally-severe criticisms and grievances far more serious. The 
increasing independence of servants is enlarged upon as a change 
gi'eatly to be lamented. There is no recognition of the fact that 
this increasing iudependence implies an increasing prosperity of 
the classes from which servants come ; and that this amelioration 
in the condition of the many is a good far greater than the evil 
entailed on the few. It is not perceived that if servants, being 
in great demand and easily able to get places, will no longer 
submit to restrictions, say about dress, like those of past times, 
the change is part of the progress towards a social state which 
if apparently not so convenient for the small regulating classes, 
implies an elevation of the large regulated classes. 

The feeling shown by the rich in their thoughts about, and 
dealings with, the poor, is, in truth, but a mitigated form of the 
feeling which owners of serfs and owners of slaves displayed. 
In early times bondsmen were treated as though they existed 
simply for the benefit of their owners ; and down to the present 
time the belief pervading the select ranks (not indeeed expressed 
but clearly enough implied) is, that the convenience of the select 
is the first consideration, and the welfare of the masses a 
secondary consideration. Just as an Old-English thane would 
have been astonished if told that the only justification for his 
existence as an owner of thralls, was that the lives of his thralls 
were on the whole better preserved and more comfortable than 
they would be did he not o^ti them ; so, now, it will astonish the 
dominant classes to assert that their only legitimate raison d'etre 


is that by their instrumentality as regulators, the lives of the 
people are, on the average, made more satisfactory than they 
would otherwise be. And yet, looked at apart from class-bias, 
this is surely an undeniable truth. Ethically considered, there 
has never been any warrant for the subjection of the many to 
the few, except that it has furthered the welfare of the many ; 
and at the present time, furtherance of the welfare of the many 
is the only warrant for that degree of class-subordination which 
continues. The existing conception must be, in the end, entirely 
changed. Just as the old theory of political government has 
been so transformed that the ruling agent, instead of being 
o^vner of the nation, has come to be regarded as servant of the 
nation; so the old theory of industrial and social government 
has to undergo a transformation which will make the regulating 
classes feel, while duly pursuing their own interests, that their 
interests are secondary to the interests of the masses whose 
labours they direct. 

While the bias of rulers and masters makes it difficult for 
them to conceive this, it also ruakes it difficult for them to con- 
ceive that a decline of class-power and a decrease of class-dis- 
tinction may be accompanied by improvement not only in the 
lives of the regulated classes, but in the lives of the regulating 
classes. The sentiments and ideas proper to the existing social 
organization, prevent the rich from seeing that worry and 
weariness and disappointment result to them indirectly from 
this social system apparently so conducive to theii' welfare. Yet, 
would they contemplate the past, they might find strong reasons 
for suspecting as much. The baron of feudal days never ima- 
gined the possibility of social arrangements that would serve 
him far better than the arrangements he so strenuously upheld ; 
nor did he see in the arrangements he upheld the causes of his 
many sufferings and discomforts. Had he been told that a noble 
might be much happier without a moated castle, having its keep 
and secret passages and dungeons for prisoners— that he might 
be more secure without di-awbridge and portcullis, men-at-arms 


and sentinels — that lie might be in less danger having no vassals 
or hired mercenaries — that he might be wealthier without pos- 
sessing a single serf ; he would have thought the statements 
absurd even to the extent of insanity. It would have been useless 
to argue that the regime seeming so advantageous to him, en- 
tailed hardships of many kinds — perpetual feuds Vidth his neigh- 
bours, open attacks, surprises, betrayals, revenges by equals, 
treacheries by inferiors ; the continual carrying of arm.s and 
wearing of armour : the perpetual quarrellings of servants and 
disputes among vassals ; the coarse and unvaried food supplied 
by an unprosperous agriculture ; a domestic discomfoi-t such as 
no modern servant would tolerate ; resulting in a wear and tear 
that brought life to a comparatively- early close, if it was not 
violently cut short in battle or by murder. Yet what the class- 
bias of that time made it impossible for him to see, has become 
to his modern representative conspicuous enough. The peer of 
our day knows that he is better off without defensive appliances 
and retainers and serfs than his predecessor was with them. His 
country-house is more secure than was an embattled tower ; he 
is safer among his unarmed domestics than a feudal lord was 
when surrounded by armed guards ; he is in less danger going 
about weaponless than was the mail-clad knight with lance and 
sword. Though he has no vassals to fight at his command, 
there is no suzerain who can call on him to sacrifice his life in a 
quarrel not his own ; though he can compel no one to laboui', the 
labours of freemen make him immensely more wealthy than was 
the ancient holder of bondsmen ; and along with the loss of direct 
control over workers, there has grown up an industrial system 
which supplies him with multitudinous conveniences and luxu- 
ries undreamt of by him who had workers at his mercy. 

May we not, then, infer that just as the dominant classes of 
ancient days were prevented by the feelings and ideas appro- 
priate to the then-existing social state, frora seeing how much evil 
it brought on them, and how much better for them might be a 
social state in which their power was much less ; so the dominant 



classes of tlie present day are prevented from seeing how the 
existing forms of class-subordination redonnd to their own injury, 
and how much happier may be their future representatives having 
social positions less prominent ? Occasionally recognizing, though 
they do, certain indirect evils attending their supremacy, they do 
not see that by accumulation these indirect evils constitute a 
penalty which supremacy brings on them. Though they repeat 
the trite reflection that riches fail to purchase content, they do 
not draw the inference that there must be something wrong in a 
system which thus deludes them. You hear it from time to time 
admitted that great wealth is a heavy burden : the life of a rich 
peer being described as made like the life of an attorney by the 
extent of his affairs. You observe among those whose large 
means and various estates enable them to multiply their appli- 
ances to gratification, that every new appliance becomes an 
additional something to be looked after, and adds to the possi- 
bilities of vexation. Further, if you put together the open con- 
fessions and the tacit admissions, you find that, apart from these 
anxieties and annoyances, the kind of life which riches and 
honours bring is not a satisfactory life — its inside differs immensely 
from its outside. In candid moments the " social treadmill " is 
complained of by those who nevertheless think themselves com- 
pelled to keep up its monotonous round. As everyone may see, 
fashionable life is passed, not in being happy, but in playing at 
being happy. And yet the manifest corollary is not drawn bv 
those engaged in tliis life. 

To an outsider it is obvious that the benefits obtained by the 
regulative classes of our day, through the existing form of social 
organization, are full of disguised evils ; and that this undue 
wealth which makes possible the passing of idle lives brings dis- 
satisfactions in place of the satisfactions expected. Just as iu 
feudal times the appliances for safety were the accompaniments 
to a social state that brought a more than equivalent danger ; so, 
now, the excess of aids to pleasure among the rich is the accom- 
paniment of a social state that brings a counterbalancing displea- 


sui*e. Tlie gi'atifications reached by tliose who make the pursuit 
of gTatifications a business, dwindle to a minimum ; while the 
trouble, and weariness, and vexation, and jealousy, and disap- 
poiatment, rise to a maximum.. That this is an inevitable 

result any one may see who studies the psychology of the matter. 
The pleasure-hunting life fails for the reason that it leaves large 
parts of the nature unexercised : it neglects the satisfactions 
gained by successful activity, and there is missing from it the 
serene consciousness of services rendered to others. Egoistic 
enjoyments continuously pursued, pall because the appetites for 
them are satiated in times much shorter than our waking lives 
give us : leaving times that are either empty or spent in efforts 
to get enjoyment after desire has ceased. They pall also from 
the want of that broad contrast which arises when a moiety of 
life is actively occupied. These negative causes of dissatisfaction 
are joined with the positive cause indicated — the absence of that 
content gained by successful achievement. One of the most 
massive and enduring gratifications is the sense of personal worth, 
ever afresh demonstrating itself to consciousness by effectual 
action ; and an idle life is balked of its hopes partly because it 
lacks this. Lastly, the implied neglect of altniistic activities, or 
of activities felt to be in some way serviceable to others, brings 
kindred evils — a deficiency of certain positive pleasures of a high 
order, not easily exhausted, and a further falling-back on egoistic 
pleasures, again tending towards satiety. And all this, with its 
resulting weariness and discontent, we may trace to a social or- 
ganization under which there comes to the regulating classes a 
share of produce great enough to make possible large accumu- 
' lations that support useless descendants. 

The bias of the wealthy in favour of arrangements apparently 
so conducive to their comforts and pleasures, while it shuts out 
the perception of these indirect penalties brought round on them 
by their seeming advantages, also shuts out the perception that 
there is anything mean in being a useless consumer of things 
which others produce. Contrariwise, there still survives, though 

s 2 


mucli weakened, the belief that it is lionourable to do nothing but 
seek enjoyment, and relatively dishonourable to pass life in sup- 
plying others with the means to enjoyment. In this, as in 
other things, our temporary state brings a temporary standard 
of honour appropriate to it ; and the accompanying sentiments 
and ideas exclude the conception of a state in which what is 
now thought admirable will be thought disgraceful. Yet 

it needs only, as before, to aid imagination by studying other 
times and other societies, remote in nature from our o^m, to 
see at least the possibility of this. When we contrast the feeling 
of the Pijians, among whom a man has a restless ambition to 
be acknowledged as a murderer, with the feeling among civilized 
races, who shrink with horror from a murderer, we get undeni- 
able proof that men in one social state pride themselves in 
characters and deeds elsewhere held in the greatest detestation. 
Seeing which, we may infer that just as the Pijians, beheving 
in the honourableness of murder, are regarded by us with as- 
tonishment ; so those of our own day who pride themselves in 
consuming much and producing nothing, and who care little 
for the well-being of their society so long as it supplies them 
good dinners, soft beds, and pleasant lounging-places, may be 
regarded with astonishment by men of times to come, Kving 
xmder higher social forms. ^^J, ""'e may see not merely 

the possibility of such a change in sentiment, but the probability. 
Observe, first, the feehng still extant in China, where the ho- 
nourableness of doing nothing, more strongly held than here, 
makes the wealthy wear their nails so long that they have to be 
tied back out of the way, and makes the ladies submit to pro- 
longed tortures that their crushed feet may show their inca- 
pacity for work. Next, remember that in generations gone by. 
both here and on the Continent, the disgracefulness of trade 
was an article of faith among the upper classes, maintained very 
strenuously. Now mark how members of the landed class are 
going into business, and even sons of peers becoming profes- 
sional men and merchants ; and observe among the wealthy the 


f^eliug that men of their order have public dntiesL! to perform, 
aud that the absolutely-idle among them are blameworthy. 
Clearly, then, we have grounds for inferring that, along with 
the progress to a regulative organization higher than the 
present, there will be a change of the kind indicated in the 
conce23tion of honour. It will become a. matter of wonder that 
there should ever have existed those who thought it admirable 
to enjoy without working, at the expense of others who worked 
without enjoying. 

But the temporarily-adapted mental state of the ruling and 
employing classes, keeps out, more or less effectually, thoughts 
and feelings of these kinds. Habituated from childhood to the 
forms of subordination at present existing — regarding these as 
parts of a natural and permanent order — finding satisfaction in 
supremacy, and conveniences in the possession of authority ; the 
regulators of all kinds remain unconscious that this system, 
made necessary as it is by the defects of existing human nature, 
brings round penalties on themselves as well as on those sub- 
ordinate to them, and that its pervading theory of life is as 
mistaken as it is ignoble. 

Enough has been said to show that from the class-bias arise 
further obstacles to right thinking in Sociology. As a part of 
'^ome general division of his community, and again as a part of 
ome special sub-division, the citizen acquires adapted feelings 
and ideas which inevitably influence his conclusions about 
public affairs. They affect alike his conceptions of the past, his 
interpretations of the present, his anticipations of the future. 

Members of the regulated classes, kept in relations more or 
less antagonistic with the classes regulating them, are thereby 
hindered from seeing the need for, and the benefits of, this 
organization which seems the cause of their grievances ; they 
:ire at the same time hindered from seeing the need for, and 
the ben'efits of, those harsher forms of industrial regulation that 
existed duiing past times ; and they are also hindered 


from seeing tliat the improved industrial organizations of the 
future, can come only through improvements in their own 
natures. On the other hand, members of the regulating classes, 
•while partially bhnded to the facts that the defects of the 
working-classes are the defects of natures like their own placed 
under different conditions, and that the existing system is de- 
fensible, not for its convenience to themselves, but as being the 
best now practicable for the community at large ; are also par- 
tially blinded to the vices of past social arrangements, and to 
the badness of those who in past social systems used class-power 
less mercifully than it is used now ; while they have difficulty in 
seeing that the present social order, like past social orders, is hut 
transitory, and that the regulating classes of the future may 
have, with diminished power, increased happiness. 

Uniortunately for the Social Science, the class-bias, like the 
bias of patriotism, is, in a degree, needful for social preservation. 
It is like in this, too, that escape from its influence is often 
only effected by an effort that carries belief to an opposite 
extreme — changing approval into a disapproval that is entire 
instead of partial. Hence in the one case, as in the other, we 
must infer that the resulting obstacle to well-balanced conclu- 
sions, can become less only as social evolution becomes greater. 




Eybrt day brings events that show the politician what the 
events of the next day are likely to be, while they serve also as 
materials for the student of Social Science. Scarcely a journal 
can be read, that does not supply a fact which, beyond the 
proximate implication seized by the party- tactician, has an 
ultimate implication of value to the sociologist. Thus a propos 
of political bias, I am, while writing, furnished by an Irish paper 
with an extreme instance. Speaking of the late Ministerial 
defeat, the Nation says : — 

" Mr. Gladstone and his administration are hurled from power, and 
the iniquitous attempt to sow broadcast the seed of irreligion and infi- 
delity in Ireland has recoiled with the impact of a thunderbolt upon its 
authors. The men who so long beguiled the ear of Ireland with specious 
promises, who mocked us with sham reforms and insulted us with 
barren concessions, who traded on the grievances of this country only to 
aggravate them, and who, with smooth professions on their lips, trampled 
out the last traces of liberty in the land, are to-day a beaten and outcast 

Which exhibition of feeling we may either consider specially, as 
showing how the " Nationalists " are likely to behave in the 
immediate future ; or may consider more generally, as giving us 
a trait of Irish nature tending to justify Mr. Froude's harsh 
verdict on Irish conduct in the past ; or may consider most 
generally, after the manner here appropriate, as a striking 


example of the distortions wliicli the political bias works in 
men's judgments. 

When we remember that all are thus affected m.ore or less, 
in estimating antagonists, their acts, and their views, we are 
reminded what an immense obstacle political partizanship is in 
the way of Social Science. I do not mean simply that, as all 
know, it often determines opinions abont pending questions ; as 
shown by cases in which a measure reprobated by Conservatives 
when brought forward by Liberals, is approved when brought 
forward by their own party. I refer to the far wider effect it 
has on men's interpretations of the past and of the future ; and 
therefore on their sociological conceptions in general. The 
political sympathies and antipathies fostered by the conflicts of 
parties, respectively upholding this or that kind of institution, 
become sympathies and antipathies drawn out towards allied 
institutions of other nations, extinct or surviving. These 
sympathies and antipathies inevitably cause tendencies to accept 
or reject favourable or unfavourable evidence respecting such 
institutions. The well-known contrast between the pictures 
which the Tory Mitford and the Radical Grote have given of the 
Athenian democracy, serves as an instance to which many 
parallels may be found. In proof of the perverting effects of the 
political bias, I cannot do better than quote some sentences from 
Mr. Froude's lecture on " The Scientific Method appHed to 

" Thiicyclides wrote to expose the vices of democracy ; Tacitus, the 
historian of the Csesars, to exhibit the hatefulness of Imperialism." * 

" Eead Macaulay on the condition of the English poor before the last 
century or two, and you wonder how they lived at all. Read Cobbett, 
and I may even say Hallam, and you wonder how they endure the 
contrast between their past prosperity and their present misery." ^ 

" An Irish Catholic prelate once told me that to his certain know- 
ledge two millions of men, women, and children had died in the great 
famine of 1846. I asked him if he was not including those who had 
emigrated. He repeated that over and above tlie emigration two mil- 
lions had actually died ; and added, ' we might assert that every one of 


tliese deaths lay at the door of the English Government.' I mentioned 
this to a distinguished lawj^er in Dublin, a Protestant. His grey eyes 
lighted up. He replied : ' Did he say two millions now— did he ? 
"Why there were not a thousand died — there were not j&ve himdred.' 
The true number, so far as can be gathered from a comparison of the 
census of 1841 with the census of 1851, from the emigration returns, 
Avhich were carefully made, and from an allowance for the natural rate 
of increase, was about two hundred thousand." ^ 

Further insistance on -fcliis polnb is needless. That the verdicts 
which will be given by different party-jonrnals upon each 
ministerial act may be predicted, and that the opposite opinions 
littered by speakers and applauded by meetings concerning the 
same measure, may be foreseen if the political bias is known ; are 
facts from which anyone may infer that the party politician 
must have his feehngs greatly moderated before he can interpret, 
with even approximate truth, the events of the past, and draw 
correct inferences respecting the future. 

Here, instead of dilating on this trath, I will call attention to 
kindred truths that are less conspicuous. Beyond those kinds 
of political bias indicated by the names of political parties, there 
are certain kinds of pohtical bias transcending party-limits. 
Already in the chapter on " Subjective Difficulties — Emotional," 
I have commented on the feehng which originates them — the 
feeling drawn out towards the governing agency. In addition to 
what was there said respecting the general effects of this feeling 
on sociological inquiry, something must be said about its special 
effects. And first, let us contemplate a common fallacy in men's 
opinions about human affairs, which pervades the several fallacies 
fostered by the political bias. 

Results are proportionate to appliances — see here the tacit 
assumption underlying many errors in the conduct of life, jirivate 
and pubhc. In private life everyone discovers the untruth of 
this assumption, and yet continues to act as though he had not 
discovered its untruth. Reconsider a moment, under this fresh 
aspect, a familiar experience lately dwelt upon. 


" How happy I sliall be," thinks the child, " when I am as old 
as my big brother, and own all the many things he will not let 
me have." " How happy," the big brother thinks, " shall I be 
when, like my father, I have got a house of my own and can do 
as I like." " How happy I shall be," thinks the father, "when, 
achieving the success in prospect, I have got a large income, a 
country house, carriages, horses, and a higher social position." 
And yet at each stage the possession of the much-desired aids to 
satisfaction does not bring all the happiness expected, and 
brings many annoyances. 

A good example of the fallacy that results are proportionate 
to apphances, is furnished by domestic service. It is an 
inferenee naturally drawn that if one servant does so much, 
two servants will do twice as much ; and so on. But when 
this common-sense theory is tested by practice, the results are 
quite at variance with it. IJ^ot simply does the amount of service 
performed fail to increase in proportion to the nimiber of servants, 
but frequently it decreases : fewer servants do more work and do 
it better. 

Take, again, the relation of books to knowledge. The natural 
assumption is that one who has stores of information at hand 
will become well-informed. And yet, very generally, when a 
man begins to accumulate books he ceases to make much use of 
them. The filling of his shelves with volumes and the filling of 
his brain with facts, are processes apt to go on with inverse 
rapidities. It is a trite remark that those who have become 
distingruished for their learnino:, have often been those who had 
great difiiculties in getting books. Here, too, the results are 
quite out of proportion to the appliances. 

Similarly if we go a step further in the same direction — not 
thinking of books as aids to information, but thinking of 
information as an aid to guidance. Do we find that the quantity 
of acquirement measures the quantity of insight ? Is the 
amount of cardinal truth reached to be inferred from the mass of 
collected facts that serve as appliances for reaching it ? By no 


means. Wisdom and information do not vary together. 
Though there must be data hefore there can be generahzation, 
yet ungeneralized data accnmnlated in excess, are impediments 
to generalization. When a man's knowledge is not in order, the 
more of it he has the greater will be his confusion of thought. 
When facts are not organized into faculty, the greater the mass 
of them the more will the mind stagger along under its burden, 
hampered instead of helped by its acquisitions. A student may 
become a very Daniel Lambert of learning, and remain utterly 
useless to himself and all others. Neither in this case, then, are 
results proportionate to appliances. 

It is so, too, with discipline, and with the agencies established 
for discipline. Take, as an instance, the use of language. From 
his early days the boy whose father can afford to give him the 
fashionable education, is drilled in grammar, practised in parsing, 
tested in detecting errors of speech. After his public-school 
career, during which words, their meanings, and their right 
applications, almost exclusively occupy him, he passes through a 
University where a large, and often the larger, part of his 
attention is still given to literary culture — models of style in 
prose and poetry being daily before him. So much for the pre- 
paration ; now for the performance. It is notorious that 
commentators on the classics are among the most slovenly 
■writers of English. Readers of Punch will remember how, years 
figo, the Provost and Head-Master of Eton were made to furnish 
food for laughter by quotations from a letter they had published. 
Recently the Head-Master of Winchester has given us, in entire 
im.consciousness of its gross defects, a sample of the English 
which long study of language produces. If from these teachers, 
who are literally the select of the select, we turn to men other- 
^vise selected, mostly out of the same highly- disciplined class — 
men who are distilled into the House of Commons, and then 
re-distilled into the Ministry, we are again disappointed. Just as 
in the last generation. Royal Speeches drawn up by those so 
laboiiously trained in the right uses of words, furnished for an 


English grammar examples of blunders to be avoided ; so In the 
present generation, a work on style might fitly take from these 
documents which our Government annually lays before all the 
world, warning instances of confusions, and illogicalities, and 
pleonasms. And then on looking at the performances of men 
not thus elaborately prepared, we are still more struck by the 
seeming anomaly. How great the anomaly is, we may best see 
by supposing some of our undisciplined authors to use expressions 
like those used by the disciplined. Imagine the self-made 
Cobbett deliberately saying, as is said in the last Royal Speech, 
that — 

" I have kept in vieio the doulile ohjcct of an equitable regard to ex- 
isting circumstailces, and of securing a general provision more permanent 
in its character, and resting on a rccijjrocal and equal basis, for the com • 
mercial and maritime transactions of the two countries." * 

Imagine the poet who had " little Latin and less Greek," giving 
the order that — 

" No such address shall be delivered in any place where the assem- 
blage of persons to hear the same may cause obstruction to the use of any 
road or walk by the public." * 

— an order which occurs, along with half-a-dozen lax and super- 
fluous phrases, in the eighteen lines announcing the ministerial 
retreat from the Hyde- Park contest. Imagine the ploughman 
Burns, Hke one of our scholars who has been chosen to direct 
the education of gentlemen's sons, expressing himself in print 
thus — 

" I should not have troubled you with this detail (which was, indeed, 
needless in my former letter) if it was not that I may appear to have 
laid a stress upon the dates which the boy's accident has prevented me 
from being able to claim to do." " 

Imagine Bunyan, the tinker, publishing such a sentence as this, 
\\'ritten by one of our bishops : — 

" If the 546 gentlemen who signed the protest on the subject of 
deaconesses had thought proper to object to my having formally licensed 
a deaconess in the parish of Ddton's Marsh, or to what they speak of 


when they say that ' recognition had been made ' (I presume on a report 
of wliich no part or portion was adopted by resolution of the Synod) ' as 
to sisters living together in a more conventual manner and under 
stricter rule/ I should not have thought it necessary to do more than 
receive with silent respect the expression of their opinion ;" &c., &c.^ 

Or, to cite for comparison modern self-educated writers, imagine 
such a sentence coining from Hugh Miller, or Alexander Smith, 
or Gerald Massey, or " the aSTor-wich weaver-boy " (W. J. Fox), 
or " the Journeyman Engineer." Shall we then say that in the 
case of literary cnlture, results are proportionate to appliances ? 
or shall we not rather say that, as in other cases, the relation is 
by no means so simple a one. 

!N"owhere, then, do we find verified this assumption which we 
are so prone to make. Quantity of effect does not vary as 
quantity of means. From a mechanical apparatus np to an 
educational system or a social institution, the same ti*uth holds. 
Take a rustic to see a new machine, and his admiration of it will 
be in proportion to the multiplicity of its parts. Listen to the 
criticism of a skilled engineer, and you find that from all this 
complication he infers probable failure. Not elaboration but 
simplification is his aim : knowing, as he does, that every 
additional wheel or lever imphes inertia and friction to be Over- 
come, and occasional derangement to be rectified. It is thus 
everywhere. Up to a certain point appliances are needful for 
results ; but beyond that point, results decrease as appHances 

This undue belief in apphances, joined with the general bias 
citizens inevitably have in favour of governmental agencies, 
prompts the multiplication of laws. It fosters the notion that 
a society will be the better the more its actions are everywhere 
regulated by artificial instrumentalities. And the effect 
produced on sociological speculation is, that the benefits 
achieved by laws are exaggerated, while the evils they entail are 


Brought to bear on so immensely-complicated an aggregate as 
a society, a law rarely, if ever, produces as mucli direct eifect as 
was expected, and invariably produces indirect effects, many in 
their kinds and great in their sum, that were not expected. It 
is so even with fundamental changes : witness the two we have 
seen in the constitution of our House of Commons. Both 
advocates and opponents of the first Reform Bill anticipated 
that the middle classes would select as representatives many of 
their own body. But both were wrong. The class-quahty of 
the House of Commons remained very much what it was before. 
"While, however, the immediate and special result looked for did 
not appear, there were vast remote and general results foreseen 
by no one. So, too, with the recent change. We had eloquently- 
uttered warnings that delegates from the working-classes would 
swamp the House of Commons ; and nearly everyone expected 
that, at any rate, a sprinkling of working-class members would 
be chosen. Again all were wrong. The conspicuous alteration 
looked for has not occurred ; but, nevertheless, governmental 
actions have already been much modified by the raised sense of 
responsibility. It is thus always. No prophecy is safer than 
that the results anticipated from a law will be greatly exceeded 
in amount by results not anticipated. Even simple physical 
actions might suggest to us this conclusion. Let us contemplate 

You see that this wrought-iron plate is not quite flat : it sticks 
up a little here towards the left — " cockles," as we say. How 
shall we flatten it ? Obviously, you reply, by hitting down on 
the part that is prominent. Well, here is a hammer, and I give 
the plate a blow as you advise. Harder, you say. Still no effect. 
Another stroke ? Well, there is one, and another, and anothei-. 
The prominence remains, you see : the evil is as great as ever — 
o-reater, indeed. But this is not all. Look at the warp which 
the plate has got near the opposite edge. Where it was flat 
before it is now curved. A pretty bungle we have made of it. 
Instead of curing the original defect, we have produced a second. 


Had we asked an artizan practised in " planishing'," as it is 
called, lie would liave told us that no good was to be done, but 
only mischief, by hitting down on the projecting part. He would 
have taught us how to give variously-directed and specially- 
adjusted blows with a hammer elsewhere : so attacking the evil 
not by direct but by indirect actions. The required process is 
less simple than you thought. Even a sheet of metal is not to 
be successfully dealt with after those common-sense methods in 
which you have so much confidence. What, then, shall we say 
about a society ? " Do you think I am easier to be played on 
than a pipe ? " asks Hamlet. Is humanity more readily 
straightened than an iron plate ? 

Many, I doubt not, failing to recognize the truth that in pro- 
portion as an aggregate is complex, the eifects wrought by an 
incident force become more multitudinous, confused, and incal- 
culable, and that therefore a society is of all kinds of aggTegates 
the kind most diflS.cult to afiiect in an intended way and not in 
unintended ways — many such will ask evidence of the difficulty. 
Response would perhaps be easier were the evidence less 
abundant. It is so familiar as seemingly to have lost its 
significance ; just as perpetually-repeated salutations and prayers 
have done. The preamble to nearly every Act of Parliament 
supplies it ; ia the report of every commission it is presented in 
various forms ; and for anyone asking instances, the direction 
might be — Hansard passim. Here I will give but a srugle 
example which might teach certain rash enthusiasts of our day, 
were they teachable. I refer to measures for the suppression of 

Not to dwell on the results of the Maine Law, which, as I know 
from one whose personal experience verified current statements, 
prevents the obtainment of stimulants by travellers in urgent 
need of them, but does not prevent secret drinking by residents 
— not to dwell, either, upon the rigorous measures taken ia 
Scotland in 1617, " for the restraint of the vde and detestable 
vice of drunkenness daily increasing," but which evidently did 


not produce the hoped-for effect ; I will limit myself to the casr 
of the Licensing Act, 9 Geo. II., ch. 23, for arresting the sale of 
spirituous liquors (chiefly gin) by prohibitory licences. 

" Within a few months after it passed, Tindal tells us, the commis- 
sioners of excise themselves became sensible of the impossibility or 
unadvisableness of carrying it rigorously into execution. * * * 
Smollett, who has drawn so dark a picture of the state of things the act 
was designed to put down, has painted in colours equally strong tlif 
mischiefs wliich it produced : — ' The popidace,' he -WTites, ' soon broke 
through all restraint. Though no licence was obtained and no duty 
paid, the liquor continued to be sold iu all corners of the streets ; in- 
formers were intimidated by the threats of the people ; and the justices 
of the peace, either from indolence or corruption, neglected to put the 
law in execution.' In fact, iu cotirse of time, ' it aj)peared,' he adds, 
'that the consumption of gin had considerably increased every year 
since those heavy duties were imposed.' " ' 

When, in 1743, this Act was repealed, it was shown during the 
debates that — 

" The quantity of gin distilled in England, which, in 1684, when the 
business was introduced into this country, had been 527,000 gallons, had 
risen to 948,000 in 1694, to 1,375,000 in 1704, to 2,000,000 in 1714, to 
3,520,000 in 1724, to 4,947,000 in 1734, and to not less than 7,160,000 
in 1742. * * * ' Retailers were deterred from vending them [spirit- 
uous liquors] by the utmost encouragement that coidd be given to in- 
formers. * * * The prospect of raising money by detecting their 
[mdicensed retailers'] practices incited many to turn mformation into a 
trade ; and the facility Avith which the crinae was to be proved encour- 
aged some to gratify their malice by perjur}^, and others their avarice ; 
80 that the multitude of informations became a public grievance, and 
the magistrates themselves complained that tlie law was not to be exe- 
cuted. The perjuries of informers were now so flagrant and common, 
that the people thought all informations malicious ; or, at least, thinking 
themselves oppressed by the law, they looked upon every man that 
promoted its execution as their enemy ; and therefore now began to 
declare war against informers, many of whom they treated with great 
cruelty, and some they murdered m the streets.' " ' 

Here, then, with absence of the looked- for benefit there went 


production of unlooked-for evils, vast in amount. To recur to 
our figure, th.e original warp, instead of being made less by these 
direct blows, was made greater ; wKile other distortions, serious 
in kiud and degree, were created. And beyond the encourage- 
ment of fraud, lying, malice, cruelty, murder, contempt of law, 
and the other conspicuous crookednesses named, multitudinous 
minor twists of sentiment and thought were caused or aug- 
mented. An indirect demoralization was added to a direct 
increase of the vice aimed at. 

Joining with the prevalent fallacy that results are proportion- 
ate to appliances, the general political bias has the further effect 
of fostering an undue faith in political forms. This tendency to 
ascribe everything to a visible proximate agency, and to forget 
the hidden forces without which the agency is worthless — this 
tendency which makes the child gazing at a steam-engine suppose 
that all is done by the combination of parts it sees, not recog- 
nizing the fact that the engine is powerless without the steam- 
generating boiler, and the boiler powerless without the water and 
the burning fuel, is a tendency which leads citizens to think that 
good government can be had by shaping public arrangements in 
this way or that way. Let us frame our state-machinery rightly, 
they urge, and all will be well. 

Yet this belief in the innate virtues of constitutions is as base- 
less as was the belief in the natural superiorities of royal 
personages. Just, as of old, loyalty to ruling men kept alive a 
faith in their powers and virtues, notwithstanding perpettial 
disproofs ; so, in these modern days, loyalty to constitutional 
forms keeps alive this faith in their intrinsic worth, spite of re- 
curring demonstrations that their worth is entirely conditional. 
That those forms only are efficient which have grown naturally 
out of character, and that in the absence of fit character forms 
artificially obtained will be inoperative, is well shown by the 
governments of trading corporations. Let us contemplate a 
typical instance of this government. 



Tlie proprietors of a certain railway (I am here giving 
my personal experience as one of tliem) were summoned to 
a special meeting. The notice calhng them together stated 
that the directors had agreed to lease their line to another 
company ; that everything had been settled ; that the company 
taking the lease was then in possession ; and that the proprietors 
were to be asked for their approval on the day named in the 
notice. The meeting took place. The chairman gave an account 
of the negotiation and of the agreement entered into. A motion 
expressing approval of the agreement was proposed and to 
some extent discussed — no notice whatever being taken of the 
extraordinary conduct of the board. Only when the motion was 
about to be put, did one proprietor protest against the astounding 
usurpation which the transaction implied. He said that there 
had grown up a wrong conception of the relation between boards 
of directors and bodies of proprietors ; that directors had come . 
to look on themselves as supreme and proprietors as subordinate, 
whereas, in fact, directors were simply agents appointed to act 
in. the absence of their principals, the proprietors, and remained 
subject to their principals ; that if, in any private business, an 
absent proprietor received from his manager the news that he 
had leased the business, that the person taking it was then in 
possession, and that the proprietor's signature to the -lease was 
wanted, his prompt return would be followed by a result quite 
different from that looked for — namely, a dismissal of the 
manager for having exceeded his duty in a very astonishing 
manner. This protest against the deliberate trampling down of 
principles recognized by the constitutions of companies, met with 
no response whatever — not a solitary sympathizer joined in the 
protest, even in a qualified form. Not only was the motion of 
approval cai-ried, but it was canned without any definite know- 
ledge of the agreement itself. Nothing more than the chairman's 
verbal description was vouchsafed : no printed copies of it had 
been previously circulated, or were to be had at the meeting. 
And yet, wonderful to relate, this proprietary body had been 


already once betrayed by an agreement witli this same leasing 
company ! — bad been led to undertake tbe making of the line on 
the strength of a seeming guarantee which proved to be no 
guarantee ! See, then, the lesson. The constitution of 

this company, like that of companies in general, was purely de- 
mocratic. The proprietors elected their directors, the directors 
their chairman ; and there were special provisions for restraining 
directors and replacing them when needful. Yet these forms of 
free government had fallen into disuse. And it is thus in all 
cases. Save on occasions when some scandalous mismanage- 
ment, or corruption bringing great loss, has caused a revolutionary 
excitement among them, railway-proprietors do not exercise 
their powers. Retiring directors being re-elected as a matter of 
form, the board becomes practically a close body ; usually some 
one member, often the chairman, acquires supremacy ; and so 
the government lapses into soruething between oligarchy and 
monarchy. All this, observe, happening not exceptionally but as 
a rule, happens among bodies of men mostly well educated, and 
many highly educated — people of means, merchants, lawyers, 
clergymen, &c. Ample disproof, if there needed any, of the 
notion that men are to be fitted for the right exercise of power 
by teaching. 

And now to return. Anyone who looks through these facts 
and facts akin to them for the truth they imply, may see that 
forms of government are valuable only where they are products 
of national character. No cunningly-devised political arrange- 
ments will of themselves do anything. No amount of knowledge 
respecting the uses of such arrangements will suffice. Nothing 
will suffice but the emotional nature to which such arrangements 
are adapted — a nature which, during social progress, has 
evolved the arrangements. And wherever there is want of 
congruity between the nature and the arrangements — wherever 

, the arrangements, suddenly established by revolution or pushed 
too far by reforming change, are of a higher type than the 

! national character demands, there is always a lapse proper- 


tionate to the incongruity. In proof I might enumerate the 
illustrations that lie scattered through the modern histories of 
Greece, of South America, of Mexico. Or I might dwell on the 
lesson (before briefly referred to) presented ns in Fiance ; Tvhere 
the political cycle shows us again and again that new Democracy 
is but old Despotism differently spelt — where now, as heretofore, 
we find Liberie, Eijalite, Fraternite, conspicuous on the public 
buildings, and now, as heretofore, have for interpretations of 
these words the extremest party-hatreds, vituperations and 
actual assaults in the Assembly, wholesale arrests of men 
unfriendly to those in power, f orbiddings of public meetings, and 
suppressions of journals ; and where now, as heretofore, writers 
professing to be ardent advocates of political freedom, rejoice in 
these acts which shackle and gag their antagonists. But I will 
take, instead, a case more nearly allied to our own. 

For less strikingly, and in other ways, but still with sufiicient 
clearness, this same truth is displayed in the United States. I 
do not refer only to such extreme illustrations of it as were at 
one time furnished in California ; where, along with that com- 
plete political freedom which some think the sole requisite 
for social welfare, most men lived in perpetual fear for then* 
lives, while others prided themselves on the notches which 
marked, on the hilts of their pistols, the numbers of men they 
had killed. Nor will I dwell on the state of society existing 
under repubHcan forms in the West, where a white woman is 
burned to death for marrying a negro, where secret gangs 
murder in the night men whose conduct they dislike, where mobs 
stop ti'aius to lynch offending persons contained in them, where 
the carrying of a revolver is a matter of course, where judges 
arc intimidated and the execution of justice often impracticable. 
I do but name these as extreme instances of the way in which, 
under institutions that nominally secure men fi-om oppression, 
they may be intolerably oppressed — unable to utter their opinions 
and to conduct their private lives as they please. "Without going 
so far, we may find in the Eastern states proof enough that the 


forms of liberty and the reality of liberty are not necessarily 
commensurate. A state of tilings nnder which, men administer 
justice in their own cases, are applaiided for so doing, and mostly 
acquitted if tried, is a state of things which has, in so far, retro- 
graded towards a less civilized state ; for one of the cardinal 
traits of political progress is the gradual disappearance of 
personal retaliation, and the increasing supremacy of a ruling- 
power which settles the differences between individiials and 
punishes aggressors. And in proportion as this ruling power is 
enfeebled the security of individuals is lessened. How security, 
lessened in this general way, is lessened in more special ways, 
we see in the bribery of judges, in the financial frauds by which 
many are robbed without possibility of remedy, in the corrupt- 
ness of ISTew York administration, which, taxing so heavily, does 
so little. And, under another aspect, we see the like in the 
doings of legislative bodies — in the unfair advantages which 
some individuals gain over others by "lobbying," in Credit- 
Mobilier briberies, and the like. While the outside form of free 
government remains, there has grown up within it a reality which 
makes government not free. The body of professional politicians, 
entering public life to get incomes, organizing their forces and 
developing their tactics, have, in fact, come to be a ruling class 
quite different from that which the constitution intended to 
secure ; and a class having interests by no mer.ns identical with 
public interests. This worship of the appliances to liberty 

ill place of liberty itself, needs continually exposing. There is no 
intrinsic virtue in votes. The possession of representatives is 
not itself a benefit. These are but means to an end ; and the 
end is the maintenance of those conditions under which each 
citizen may carry on his life without further hindrances from 
other citizens than are involved by their equal claims — is the 
securing to each citizen all such beneficial results of his activities 
as his activities naturally bring. The worth of the means must 
be measured by the degree in which this end is achieved. A 
citizen nominally having complete means and but partially 


securing the end, is less free than another who uses incomplete 
means to more purpose. 

But why go abroad for proofs of the truth that political forms 
are of worth only in propovtion as they are vitalized by national 
character ? We have proofs at home. I do not mean those 
furnished by past constitutional history — I do not merely refer 
to those many facts showing us that the nominal power of our 
representative body became an actual power only by degrees ; 
and that the theoretically-independent House of Commons took 
centuries to escape from regal and aristocratic sway, find establish 
a practical independence. I refer to the present time, and to 
actions of our representative body in the plenitude of its power. 
This assembly of deputies chosen by large constituencies, and 
therefore so well fitted, as it would seem, for guarding the 
individual of whatever grade against tresj^asses upon his 
individuality, nevertheless itself authorizes new trespasses upon 
his individuality. A popular government has estabHshed, with- 
out the slightest hindrance, an ofiicial organization that treats 
with contempt the essential principles of constitutional rule ; and 
since it has been made still more popular, has deliberately 
approved and maintained this organization. Here is a brief 
account of the steps leading to these results. 

On the 20th June, 1864, just before 2 o'clock in the morning, 
there was read a first time an Act giving, in some localities, 
certain new powers to the police. On the 2rth of that 
month, it was read a second time, entirely without comment — at 
what hour Hansard does not show. Just before 2 o'clock in the 
morning on June 30th, there was appointed, without remark, a 
Select Committee to consider this proposed Act. On the loth 
July the llcpoi't of this Committee was received. On the 19th 
the Bill was re-committed, and the Report on it received — all in 
silence. On the 20th July it was considered — still in silence — 
as amended. And on the 21st July it Avas read a third time and 
passed — equally in silence. Taken next day to the House of 
Lords, it there, in silence no less profound, passpj. through all 



its stages in four days (? three). This Act not proving strong 
enougli to meet the views of naval and military officers (who, 
according to the testimony of one of the Select Committee, were 
the promoters of it), was, in 1866, " amended." At 1 o'clock in 
the morning on March 16th of that year, the Act amending it was 
read a first time ; and it was read a second time on the 22nd, 
when the Secretary of the Admiralty, describing it as an Act to 
secure the better health of soldiers and sailors, said " it was 
intended to renew an Act passed in 1864, with additional 
powers." And now, for the first time, there came brief adverse 
remarks from two members. On April 9th there was appointed 
a Select Committee, consisting mainly of the same members as 
the previous one — predominantly state-officers of one class or 
other. On the 20th, the Report of the Committee was received. 
On the 26th, the Bill was re-committed just before 2 o'clock in 
the morning ; and on the Report there came some short com- 
ments, which were, however, protested against on the ground 
that the Bill was not to be publicly discussed. And here observe 
the reception given to the only direct opposition raised. When, 
to qualify a clause defining the powers of the police, it was 
proposed to add, " that the justices before whom such informa- 
tion shall be made, shall in all cases require corroborative 
testimony and support thereof, other than that of the members of 
the police force," this qualification was negatived without a 
word. Finally, this Act was approved and made more stringent 
by the present House of Commons in 1869. 

And now what was this Act, passed the first time absolutely 
without comment, and passed in its so-called amended form with 
but the briefest comments, made under protest that comments 
were interdicted ? What was this measm'e, so conspicuously 
right that discussion of it was thought superfluous ? It was a 
measure by which, in certain localities, one-half of the people 
^vere brought under the summary jurisdiction of magistrates, in 
respect of certain acts charged against them. Further, those by 
whom they were to be charged, and by whose unsupported testi- 


monj cliarges "were to be proved, were agents of tbe la\r, 
looking for promotion as the reward of -vigilance — agents placed 
under a permanent temptation to make and substantiate cliarges. 
And yet more, the substantiation of charges was made compara- 
tively easy, by requiring only a single local magistrate to bo 
convinced, by the testimony on oath of one of these agents of the 
law, that a person charged was guilty of the alleged acts — acts 
which, held to be thus proved, were punished by periodic 
examinations of a repulsive kind and forced inclusion in a 
degraded class. A House of Commons elected by large 
constituencies, many of them chiefly coiaposed of working-men, 
showed the greatest alacrity in making a law under which, in 
sundry districts, the liberty of a working-man's wife or daughter 
remains intact, only so long as a detective does not give evidence 
which leads a magistrate to beheve her a prostitute ! And this 
Bill which, even had there been some urgent need (which we 
have seen there was not) for dispensing with precautions against 
injustice, should, at any rate, have been passed only after fuU 
debate and anxious criticism, was passed with every effort to 
maintain secrecy, on the pretext that decency forbade discussion 
of it ; while Mordaunt-cases and the like were being reported 
with a fulness proportionate to the amount of objectionable 
details they brought out ! Nor is this all. ISTot only do the 
provisions of the Act make easy the establishment of charges bv 
men who are placed under temptations to make them ; but these 
men are guarded against penalties apt to be brought on them bv 
abusing their power. A poor woman who proceeds against one 
of them for making a groundless accusation ruinous to her 
character, does so with this risk before her ; that if she fails to 
get a verdict she has to pay the defendant's costs ; whereas a 
verdict in her favour does not give her costs : only by a special 
order of the judge does she get costs ! And this is the " even- 
handed justice " provided by a government freer in form than 
any we have ever had ! '" 

Let it not be supposed that in arguing thus I am imj)lying that 


forms of government are tinimportant. While contending tliat 
tliej arc of valne only in so far as a national character gives life 
to tliem, it is consistent also to contend that they are essential as 
agencies through which that national character may work out its 
effects. A boy cannot wield to purpose an implement of size and 
weight fitted to the hand of a man. A man cannot do effective 
work with the boy's implement: he must have one adapted to 
his larger grasp and greater strength. To each the implement 
is essential ; but the results which each achieves are not to be 
raeasured by the size or make of the implement alone, but by its 
adaptation to his powers. Similarly with poKtical instrumen- 
talities. It is possible to hold that a political instrumentality is 
of value only in proportion as there exists a strength of character 
needful for using it, and at the same time to hold that a fit 
political instrumentality is indispensable. Here, as before, 
results are not proportionate to appliances ; but they are propor- 
tionate to the force for due operation of* which certain appliances 
are necessary. 

One other still more general and more subtle kind of political 
bias has to be guarded against. Beyond that excess of faith in 
laws, and in political forms, which is fostered by awe of regulative 
agencies, there is, even among those least swayed by this awe, a 
vague faith in the immediate possibility of something much 
better than now exists — a tacit assumption that, even with men 
as they are, public affairs might be much better managed. The 
mental attitude of such may be best displayed by an imaginary 
conversation between one of them and a member of the Legislature. 

"Why do your agents, with no warrant but a guess, make this 
surcharge on my income-tax return ; leaving me to pay an amount 
that is not due and to establish a precedent for future like pay- 
ments, or else to lose valuable time in proving their assessment 
excessive, and, while so doing, to expose my affairs ? You re- 
quire me to choose between two losses, direct and indirect, for the 
sole reason that your assessor fancies, or professes to fancy, that 


I have Tinder-stated my income. Why do you allow this ? Why 
in this case do you invert the principle which, in cases between 
citizens, you hold to be an equitable one — the pi'inciple that a 
claim must be proved by him who raakes it, not disproved by 
him. against whom it is made ? Is it in pursuance of old political 
usages that you do this ? Is it to harmonize with the practice of 
making one whom you had falsely accused, pay the costs of his 
defence, although in suits between citizens you require the loser 
to bear all the expense ? — a practice you have but lately ^re- 
linquished. Do you desire to keep up the spirit of the good old 
rulers who impressed labourers and paid them what they pleased, 
or the still older rulers who seized whatever they wanted ? Would 
you maintain this tradition by laying hands on as much as 
possible of my earnings and leaving me to get part back if I can : 
expecting, indeed, that I shall submit to the loss rather than 
undergo the worry, and hindrance, and injury, needful to recover 
what you have wi'ongfully taken ? I was brought up to regard 
the Government and its officers as my protectors ; and now I find 
them aggressors against whom I have to defend myself." 

" What would you have ? Our agents could not bring for- 
ward proof that an income-tax return was less than it should be. 
Either the present method must be pm'sued, or the tax must be 

"I have no concern with your alternative. I have merely to 
point out that between man and man you recognize no such plea. 
When a plaintiff makes a claim but cannot produce evidence, you 
do not make the defendant submit if he fails to show that the 
claim is groundless. You say that if no evidence can be given, 
nothing can be done. Why do you ignore this principle when 
your agent makes the claim ? Why from the fountain of equity 
comes there this inequity ? Is it to maintain consistency with 
that system of criminal jiu'isprudence under which, while pro- 
fessing to hold a man innocent till proved guilty, you treat him 
before trial like a couAdct — as you did Dr. Hessel ? Are your 
views really represented by these Middlesex magistrates you have 


appointed, who see no hardsliip to a man of ctiltiii'e in tlie 
seclusion of a prison-cell, and tlie subjection to prison-rules, on 
the mere suspicion that he has committed a murder ? " 

" The magistrates held that the rules allowed them to make no 
distinctions. Tou would not introduce class-legislation into 
prison- discipline ? " 

" I remember that was one of the excuses ; and I checrf ully 
give credit to this endeavour to treat all classes alike. I do so 
the more cheerfully because this application of the principle of 
equality diifers much from those which you ordinarily make — 
as when, on discharging some of your well-paid officials who 
have held sinecures, you give them large pensions, for the reason, 
I suppose, that their expensive styles of living have disabled them 
from saving anything; while, when you discharge dock-yard 
labourers, you do not give them compensation, for the reason, I 
suppose, that out of weekly wages it is easy to accumulate a 
competence. This, however, by the way. I am here concerned 
with that action of your judicial system which makes it an 
aggressor on citizens, whether rich or poor, instead of a protector. 
The instances I have given are but trivial instances of its general 
operation. Law is still a name of dread, as it was in past times. 
My legal adviser, being my friend, strongly recommends me not 
to seek your aid in recovering property fraudulently taken from 
me ; and I perceive, from their remarks, that my acquaintances 
would pity "me as a lost man if I got into your Court of Equity. 
Whether active or passive, I am in danger. Tour arrangements 
are such that I may be pecuniarily knocked on the head by some 
one who pretends I have injured his property. I have the alter- 
native of letting my pocket be picked by the scamp who makes 
this baseless allegation in the hope of being paid to desist, or of 
meeting the allegation in Chancery, and there letting my pocket 
be picked, probably to a still greater extent, by your agencies. 
Nay, when you have, as you profess, done me justice by giving 
me a verdict and condemning the scamp to pay costs, I find I 
may still be ruined by having to pay my own costs if he has no 


means. To make your system congruous ttLrougliout, it only 
needs that, when I call him to save me from the foot-pad, your 
policeman should deal me still heavier blows than the foot-pad 
did, and empty my purse of what remains in it." 

" Why so impatient ? Are we not going to reform it all ? 
Was it not last session proposed to make a Court of Appellate 
Jurisdiction by appointing four peers with salaries of £7000 
each ? And has there not been brought forward this session, 
even quite early, a Government-measure for preventing the con- 
flict of Law and Equity, and for facilitating appeals? " 

" Thanks in advance for the improvement. '\Vhen I have failed 
to ruin myself by a first suit, it will be a consolation to think that 
I can complete my ruin by a second with less delay than hereto- 
fore. Meanwhile, instead of facilitating appeals, which you seem 
to think of primary importance, I should be obhged if you would 
diminish the occasion for appeals, by making your laws such as 
it is possible for me to know, or at any rate, such as it is possible 
for youi" judges to know ; and I should be further obliged if you 
would give me easier remedies against aggressions, instead of 
remedies so costly, so deceptive, so dangerous, that I prefer 
suffering the aggressions in silence. Daily I experience the f utiHty 
of your system. I start on a journey expecting that in conformity 
with the advertised times, I shall just be able to reach a certain 
distant town before night ; but the train being an hour late at one 
of the junctions, I am defeated — am put to the coSt of a night 
spent on the way and lose half the next day. I paid for a fii'st- 
class seat that I might have space, comfort, and unobjectionable 
fellow-travellere ; but, stopping at a town where a fair is going 
on, the guard, on the plea that the third-class carriages are full, 
thrusts into the compartment more persons than there are places 
for, who, both by behaviour and odour, are repulsive. Thus hi 
two ways I am defrauded. For part of the fi'aud I have no 
remedy ; and for the rest my remedy, doubtful at best, is 
practically unavailable. Is the reply that against the alleged 
breach of contract as to time, the company has guarded itself, or 


pi'ofesses to have guarded itself, by disclaiming responsibility ? 
The allowing snch a disclaimer is one of your countless neg- 
ligences. You do not allow me to plead irresponsibility if I give 
the company bad money, or if, having bought a ticket for the 
second class, I travel in the first. On my side yon regard the 
contract as qiiite definite ; but on the other side you practically 
allow the contract to remain undefined. And now see the general 
effects of your carelessness. Scarcely any trains keep their 
times ; and the result of chronic unpimctuality is a multiplication 
of accidents with increased loss of life." 

" How about laissez-faire ? I thought your notion was that 
the less Government meddled with these things the better ; and 
now you complain that the law does not secure your comfort 
in a railway-carriage and see that you are delivered at your 
journey's end in due time. I suppose you approved of the pro- 
posal made in the House last session, that companies should be 
compelled to give foot- warmers to second-class passengers." 

" Really you amaze me. I should have thought that not even 
ordinary intelhgence, much less select legislative intelligence, 
would have fallen into such a confusion. I am not blaming you 
for failing to secure me comfort or punctuality. I am blaming 
you for failing to enforce contracts. Just as strongly as I protest 
against your neglect in letting a company take my money and 
tlien not give me all I paid for ; so strongly should I protest 
did you dictate how much convenience should be given me for 
so much money. Surely I need not remind you that your civil 
law in general proceeds on the principle that the goodness or 
badness of a bargain is the affair of those who make it, not your 
affair ; but that it is your duty to enforce the bargain when made. 
Only in proportion as this is done can men's fives in society be 
maintained. The condition to all life, human or other, is that 
effort put forth shall bring the means of repaii-ing the parts 
wasted by effort — shall bring, too, more or less of surpkis. A 
creature that continuously expends energy without return in 
nutriment dies ; and a creature is indirectly killed by anything 


which, after energies have been expended, habitually intercepts 
the return. This holds of associated human beings as of all other 
beings. In a society, most citizens do not obtain sustenance 
directly by the powers, they exert, but do it indirectly : each gives 
the produce of his powers exerted in his special way, in exchange 
for the produce of other men's powers exerted in other ways. 
The condition under which only this obtaining of sustenance to 
replace the matter wasted by effort, can be carried on in society, 
is fulfilment of contract. Non-fulfilment of contract is letting 
energy be expended in expectation of a return, and then with- 
holduig the return. Maintenance of contract, therefore, ia 
maintenance of the fundamental principle of all life, under the 
form given to it by social arrangements. I blame yon because 
you do not maintain this fundamental principle ; and, as a con- 
sequence, allow hfe to be impeded and sacrificed in countless 
indirect ways. Tou are, I admit, solicitous about my hfe as 
endangered by my own acts. Though you very inadequately 
guard me against injuries from others, you seem particularly 
anxious that I shall not injure myself. Emulating Sir Peter 
Laurie, who made himself famous by threatening to ' put do^^Ti 
suicide,' you do what you caa to prevent me from risking my 
limbs. Your great care of me is shown, for instance, by enforc- 
ing a bye-law which forbids me to leave a railway-train in 
motion ; and if I jump out, I find that whether I hurt myself or 
not, you decide to hurt me — by a fine.'^ Not only do you thus 
punish me when I run the risk of punishing myself ; but your 
amiable anxiety for my welfare shows itself in taking money out 
of my pocket to provide me with various conveniences — baths 
and wash-houses, for example, and free access to books. Out of 
my pocket, did I say ? Not always. Sometimes out of the 
pockets of those least able to afford it ; as when, from poor 
authors who lose by their works, you demand gratis copies for 
your public libraries, that I and others may read them for 
nothing — Dives robbing Lazarus that he may give alms to the 
'v^ ell- clad ! But these many things you offer are things I do 


not ask ; and you will not effectnally provide tlie one tiling I do 
ask. I do not want you to ascertain for me the nature of the 
Sun's corona, or to find a north-west passage, or to explore the 
bottom of the sea; but I do want you to insure me against 
aggression, by making the punishment of aggressors, civil as 
well as criminal, swift, certain, and not ruinous to complainants. 
Instead of doing this, you persist in doing other things. Instead 
of securing me the bread due to my efforts, you give me a stone 
— a sculptured block from Ephesus. I am quite content to 
enjoy only what I get by my own exertions, and to have only that 
information and those pleasures for which I pay. I am quite 
content to suffer the evils brought on me by my own defects — 
believing, indeed, that for me and for all there is no other whole- 
some discipline. But you fail to do what is needed. You are 
careless about guaranteeing me the unhindered enjoyment of the 
benefits my efforts have purchased ; and you insist on giving me, 
at other people's expense, benefits my efforts have not purchased, 
and on saving me from penalties I deserve." 

" You are unreasonable. We are doing our best with the 
enormous mass of business brought before us : sitting on 
committees, reading evidence and reports, debating till one or 
two in the morning. Session after session we work hard at all 
kinds of measures for the public welfare — devising plans for 
educating the people ; enacting better arrangements for the 
health of towns ; making inquiries into the impurity of rivers ; 
deliberating on plans to diminish drunkenness ; prescribing 
modes of building houses that they may not fall ; deputing 
commissioners to facilitate emigration ; and so on. You can go 
to no place that does not show signs of our activity. Here arc 
public gardens formed by our local lieutenants, the municipal 
bodies ; here are lighthouses we have put up to prevent shipwrecks. 
Everywhere we have appointed inspectors to see that salubrity is 
maintained ; everywhere there are vaccinators to see that due 
precautions against small-pox are observed ; and if, happening 
to be ill a district where our arrangements are in force, your 


desires are not well controlled, we do onr best to insure you a 
healthy " 

" Yes, I know what you would say. It is all of a piece with 
the rest of your policy. While you fail to protect me against 
others, you insist on protecting me against myself. And your 
failure to do the essential thing, results fi'om the absorption 
of your time in doing non-essential things. Do you think that 
your beneficences make up for the injustices you let me bear ? 
I do not want these sops and gratuities ; but I do want security 
against trespasses, direct and indirect — security that is real and 
not nominal. See the predicament in which I am placed. Tou 
forbid me (quite rightly I admit) to administer justice on my 
own behalf ; and you profess to administer it for me. I may not 
take summary measui'es to resist encroachment, to reclaim my 
own, or to seize that which I bargained to have for my services : 
you tell me that I must demand your aid to enforce my claim. 
But demanding your aid commonly brings such frightful evils 
that I prefer to bear the wrong done me. So that, practically, 
having forbidden me to defend myself, you fail to defend me. 
By this my life is vitiated, along with the lives of citizens in 
general. All transactions are impeded ; time and labour are 
lost ; the prices of commodities are raised. Honest men are 
defrauded, while rogues thrive. Debtors outwit their creditors ; 
bankrupts make purses by their faiku'es and recommence on 
larger scales ; and financial fi'auds that ruin their thousands go 

Thus far our impatient friend. And now see how untenable 
is his position. He actually supposes that it is possible to get 
government conducted on rational principles ! His tacit 
assumption is that out of a community morally imperfect and 
intellectually imperfect, there may in some way be had legislative 
regulation that is not proportionately imperfect ! He is under a 
delusion. Not by any kind of government, established after any 
method, can the thing be done. A good and wise autocrat cannot 
be chosen or otherwise obtained by a people not good and wise. 


Goodness and wisdom will not characterize the successive 
families of an oligarchy, arising out of a bad and foolish people, 
any more than they will characterize a line of kings. Nor will 
any system of representation, limited or universal, direct or 
indirect, do more than represent the average nature of citizens. 
To dissipate his notion that truly-rational government can be 
provided for themselves by a people not truly rational, he needs 
but to read election-speeches and observe how votes are gained 
by clap-trap appeals to senseless prejudices and by fostering 
hopes of impossible benefits, while votes are lost by candid 
statements of stern truths and endeavours to dissipate ground- 
less expectations. Let him watch the process, and he will see 
that when the fermenting mass of political passions and beliefs 
is put into the electoral still, there distils over not the wisdom 
alone but the folly also — sometimes in the larger proportion. 
Nay, if he watches closely, he may suspect that not only is the 
corporate conscience lower than the average individual conscience, 
but the corporate intelligence too. The minority of the wise in 
a constituency is liable to be wholly submerged by the majority 
of the foolish : often foolishness alone gets represented. In the 
representative assembly, again, the many mediocrities practically 
rule the few superiorities : the superior are obliged to express 
those views only which the rest can understand, and must keep 
to themselves their best and farthest-reaching thoughts as 
thoughts that would have no weight. He needs but remember 
that abstract principles are pooh-poohed in the House of 
Commons, to see at once that while the unwisdom expresses 
itself abundantly, what of highest wisdom there may be has to 
keep silence. And if he asks an illustration of the way in which 
the intelligence of the body of members brings out a result lower 
than, would the intelligence of the average member, he may 
see one in those muddlings of provisions and confusions of 
language in Acts of Parliament, which have lately been calling 
forth protests iFova the judges. 

Thus the assumption that it is possible for a nation to get, in 



the sliape of law, sometliing like embodied reason, wlaen it is not 
itself pervaded by a correlative reasonableness, is improbable 
ct priori and disproved a posteriori. The belief that truly-good 
legislation and administration can go along -with a humanity not 
truly good, is a chronic delusion. While our o"\vn form of 
government, giving means for expressing and enforcing claims, 
is the best form yet evolved for preventing aggi'essions of class 
upon class, and of individuals on one another ; yet it is hopeless 
to expect fi'om it, any more than from other forms of govern- 
ment, a capacity and a rectitude greater than that of the societv 
out of which it grows. And criticisms hke the foregoing, which 
imply that its shortcomings can be set right by expostulating 
with existing governing agents or by appointing others, imply 
that subtlest kind of political bias which is apt to remain when 
the stronger kinds have been got rid of. 

Second only to the class-bias, we may say that the political 
bias most seriously distorts sociological conceptions. That this 
is so with the bias of political party, everyone sees in some mea- 
sure, though not in full measure. It is manifest to the Radical 
that the prejudice of the Tory blinds him to a present evil or 
to a future good. It is manifest to the Tory that the Radical 
does not see the benefit there is in that which he wishes to 
destroy, and fails to recognize the mischiefs likely to be done by 
the institution he would establish. But neither imagines that 
the other is no less needful than himself. The Radical, with his 
impracticable ideal, is unaware that his enthusiasm will serve 
only to advance things a little, but not at all as he expects ; and 
he will not admit that the obstructivencss of the Tory is a 
wholesome check. The Tory, doggedly resisting, cannot per- 
ceive that the established order is but relatively good, and that 
his defence of it is simply a means of preventing premature 
change ; while he fails to recognize in the bitter antagonism and 
sanguine hopes of the Radical, the agencies without which there 
could be no progress. Thus neither fully understands his own 


function or the function of Ms opponent ; and by as mucL. as lie 
falls short of understanding it, lie is disabled from imderstanding 
social pbenomena. 

The more general kinds of political bias distort men's 
sociological conceptions in other ways, but quite as seriously. 
There is this perennial delusion, common to Radical and Tory, 
that legislation is omnipotent, and that things will get done be- 
cause laws are passed to do them ; there is this confidence in one 
or other form of government, due to the belief that a govern- 
ment once established will retain its form and work as was 
intended ; there is this hope that by some means the collective 
wisdom can be separated from the collective folly, and set over 
it in such way as to guide things aright ; — all of them implying 
that general political bias which inevitably coexists with sub- 
ordination to political agencies. The effect on sociological 
speculation is to maintain the conception of a society as some- 
thing manufactured by statesmen, and to turn the mind from 
the phenomena of social evolution. While the regulating agency 
occnpies the thoughts, scarcely any attention is given to those 
astounding processes and results due to the energies regulated. 
The genesis of the vast producing, exchanging, and distributing 
agencies, which has gone on spontaneously, often hindered, and 
at best only restrained, by governments, is passed over with 
unobservant eyes. And thus, by continnally contemplating the 
power which keeps in order, and contemplating rarely, if at all, 
the activities kept in order, there is produced an extremely 
one-sided theory of Society. 

Clearly, it is with this kind of bias as it is with the kinds of 
bias previously considered — the degree of it bears a certain 
necessary relation to the tempoi^ry phase of progress. It can 
diminish only as fast as Society advances. A well-balanced social 
self-conscionsness, like a well-balanced individual self-conscious- 
.■oess, is the accompaniment of a high evolution. 

V 2 



" What a log for hell-fire ! " exclaimed a Wahliabee, on seeing 
a corpulent Hindn. This illustration, startling by its strength of 
expression, which Mr. Gifford Palgrave gives ^ of the belief pos- 
sessing these Mahommedan fanatics, prepares ns for their general 
mode of thinking about God and man. Here is a sample of 

" When 'Abd-el-Lateef, a Wahhabee, was preaching one day to the 
people of Eiad, he recounted the tradition according to which j\Iahoniet 
declared that his followers should divide into seventy-three sects, and 
that seventy-two were destined to hell-fire, and one only to Paradise. 
' And what, messenger of God, are the signs of that happy sect to 
which is ensured the exclusive possession of Paradise ? ' Whereto 
Mahomet had repUed, ' It is those who shall be in all conformable to 
myseK and to my companions.' 'And that,' added 'Abd-el-Lateef, 
lowering his voice to the deep tone of conviction, ' that, by the mercy of 
God, are we, the people of Riad.' " ^ 

For present purposes we are not so much concerned to observe 
the parallelism between this conception and the conceptions that 
have been, and arc, current among sects of Christians, as to ob- 
serve the effects produced by such conceptions on men's views of 
those who have alien beliefs, and on their views of alien societies. 
What extreme misinterpretations of social facts result from the 
theological bias, may be seen still better in a case even more 


By Turner, by Erskine, and by tlie members of tbe United 
States' Exploring Exjiedition, the cbaracters of the Samoans are, 
as compared with the characters of the uncivilized generally, 
very favourably described. Though, in common with savages 
at large, they are said to be " indolent, covetous, fickle, and de- 
ceitful," yet they are also said to be " kind, good-humoured, 
. . . desirous of pleasing, and very hospitable. Both sexes show 
great regard and love for their children ;" and age is much re- 
spected. " Aman cannot bear to be called stingy or disobliging." 
The women " are remarkably domestic and virtuous." Infanti- 
cide after birth is unknown in Samoa. " The treatment of the 
sick was . . . invariably humane and all that could be ex- 
pected." Observe, now, what is said of their cannibal 
neighbours, the Fijians. They are indifferent to human life ; 
they hve in perpetual dread of one another ; and, according to 
Jackson, treachery is considered by them an accomplishment. 
" Shedding of blood is to him [the Fijian] no crime but a glory." 
They kill the decrepit, maimed, and sick. While, on the one 
hand, infanticide covers nearer two-thirds than one-half of the 
births, on the other hand, " one of the first lessons taught the 
infant is to strike its mother : " anger and revenge are fostered. 
Inferiors are killed for neglecting proper salutes ; slaves are 
buried alive with the posts on which a king's house stands ; and 
ten or more men are slaughtered on the decks of a newly- 
launched canoe, to baptize it with their blood. A chief's wives, 
courtiers, and aides-de-camp, are strangled at his death — being 
thereby honoured. Cannibalism is so rampant that a chief, 
praising his deceased son, ended his eulogy by saying that he 
would " kill his own wives if they offended him, and eat them 
afterwards." Victims were sometimes roasted alive before being 
devoured ; and Tanoa, one of their chiefs, cut off a cousin's arm, 
drank the blood, cooked the arm and ate it in presence of 
the owner, who was then cut to pieces. Their gods, described 
as having like characters, commit Hke acts. They live on the souls 
of those who are devoured by men, having first " roasted " them 


(the "souls" being simply material duplicates). They "are 
proud and revengeful, and make war, and kill and eat each. 
other;" and among the names of honour given to them, are 
" the adulterer," " the woman-stealer," " the brain-eater," " the 
murderer." Such being the account of the Samoans, and 

such the account of the Fijians, let us ask what the Fijians 
think of the Samoans. " The Feegeeans looked upon the Sa- 
moans with horror, because they had no religion, no belief in any 
such deities [as the Feegeean], nor any of the sanguinary rites 
which prevailed in other islands ; " — a statement quite in harmony 
with that made by Jackson, who, having behaved disrespectfully 
to one of their gods, was angrily called by them. " the white 

Any one may read while running the lesson conveyed ; and, 
without stopping to consider much, may see its application to the 
beliefs and sentiments of civilized races. The ferocious Fijian 
doubtless thinks that to devour a human victim in the name 
of one of his cannibal gods, is a meritorious act ; while he 
thinks that his Samoan neighbour, who makes no sacrifice to 
these cannibal gods, but is just and kind to his fellows, 
thereby shows that meanness goes along with his shocking 
irreligion. Construing the facts in this way, the Fijian 
can form no rational conception of Samoan society. With 
vices and virtues interchanged in conformity with his 
creed, the benefits of certain social arrangements, if he 
thinks about them at all, must seem evils and the evils 

Speaking generally, then, each system of dogmatic theology, 
with the sentiments that gather round it, becomes an impedi- 
ment in the way of Social Science. The sympathies drawn out 
towards one creed and the correlative antipathies aroused by 
other creeds, distort the interpretations of all the associated 
facts. On these institutions and their results the eyes are 
turned with a readiness to observe everything that is good, 
aud on those with a readiness to observe everything that is 


bad. Let us glance at some of the consequent perversions of 

Already we liave seen, by implication, tliat tbe theological ele- 
ment of a creed, subordinating tlie ethical element completely 
in early stages of civilization and very considerably in later 
stages, maintains a standard of right and wrong, relatively good 
perhaps, but perhaps absolutely bad — good, that is, as measured 
by the requirements of the place and time, bad as measured 
by the requirements of an ideal society. And sanctifying, as 
an associated theology thus does, false conceptions of right 
and wrong, it falsifies the measures by which the effects of 
institutions are to be estimated. Obviously, the sociological con- 
clusions must be vitiated if beneficial and detrimental effects 
are not respectively recognized as such. An illustration 
enforcing this is worth giving. Here is Mr. Palgrave's 
account of Wahhabee morality, as disclosed in answers to his 
questions : — 

" ' The first of the great sins is the giving divine honours to a 

" ' Of course,' I replied, ' the enormity of such a sin is beyond all 
doubt. But if this he the first, there must be a second ; what is it l ' 

" ' Drinking the shameful,' in English, ' smoking tobacco,' was the 
unhesitating answer. 

" ' And murder, and adultery, and false witness ? ' I suggested. 

" ' God is mercifid and forgiving,' rejoined my friend ; ' that is, these 
are merely little sins.' 

" ' Hence two sms alone are great, polytheism and smoking,' I con- 
tinued, though hardly able to keep countenance any longer. And 'Abd- 
el-Kareem, with the most serious asseveration, replied that such was 
really the case." * 

Clearly a creed which makes smoking one of the blackest 
crimes, and has only mild reprobation for the worst acts com- 
mitted by man against man, negatives anything like Social 
Science. Deeds and habits and laws not being judged by the 
degrees in which they conduce to temporal welfare, the ideas of 


better and worse, as applying to social arrangements, cannot 
exist ; and such notions as progress and retrogression are ex- 
cluded. But that which holds so conspicuously in this case 
holds more or less in all cases. At the present time as in past 
times, and in our own society as in other societies, public acts 
are judged by two tests — the test of supposed divine approba- 
tion, and the test of conduciveness to human happiness. Though, 
as civilization advances, there grows up the belief that the second 
test is equivalent to the first — though, consequently, conducive- 
ness to human happiness comes to be more directly considered ; 
yet the test of supposed divine approbation, as inferred fi'om the 
particular creed held, continues to be very generally used. The 
wrongness of conduct is conceived as consisting in the implied 
disobedience to the supposed commands, and not as consisting in 
its intrinsic character as causing suffering to others or to self. 
Inevitably the effect on sociological thinhing is, that institutions 
and actions are judged more by their apparent congruity or in- 
congruity with the established cult, than by their tendencies to 
further or to hinder well-being. 

This effect of the theological bias, manifest enough everywhere, 
has been forced on my attention by one whose mental attitude 
often supplies me with matter for speculation — an old gentleman 
who unites the religion of amity and the religion of enmity in 
stai'thng contrast. On the one hand, getting up early to his 
devotions, going to church even at great risk to his feeble health, 
always staying for the saci"ament when there is one, he displays 
what is ordinarily regarded as an exemplary piety. On the other 
hand, his thoughts ever tend in the direction of warfare : fights 
on sea and land furnish topics of undying interest to hipi ; he 
revels in narratives of destruction ; his talk is of cannon. To say 
that he divides his reading between the Bible and Alison, or some 
kindred book, is an exaggeration ; but still it serves to convey an 
idea of his state of feeling. Now you may hear him waxing 
wroth over the dis-establishment of the Irish Church, which he 
looks upon as an act of sacrilege ; and now, when the conversa- 


tion turns on works of art, lie names as engravings wliicli above 
all others he admires, Cceur-de-Lion fighting Saladin, and Wel- 
lington at Waterloo. Or after manifesting some kindly feeling, 
which, to give him his dne, he frequently does, he will shortly 
pass to some bloody encounter, the narration of which makes his 
voice tremulous with delight. Marvelling though I did at first 
over these incongruities of sentiment and belief, the explanation 
was reached on observing that the subordination-element of his 
creed was far more dominant in his consciousness than the moral 
element. Watching the movem.ents of his mind made it clear 
that to his imagination, Grod was sym.bolized as a kind of trans- 
cendently-powerful sea-captain, and made it clear that he went 
to church from a feeling akin to that with which, as a middy, he 
went to muster. On perceiving that this, which is the sentiment 
common to all religions, whatever be the name or ascribed nature 
of the deity worshipped, was supreme in him, it ceased to be in- 
explicable that the sentiment to which the Christian religion 
specially appeals should be so readily over-ridden. It became 
easier to understand how, when the Hyde-Park riots took place, 
he could wish that we had Louis Napoleon over here to shoot 
down the mob, and how he could recall, with more or less of 
chu.ckling, the deeds of press-gangs in his early days. 

That the theological bias, thus producing conformity to moral 
principles from motives of obedience only, and not habitually in- 
sisting on such principles because of their intrinsic value, ob- 
scures sociological truths, will now not be difficult to see. The 
tendency is to substitute formal recognitions of such principles 
for real recognitions. So long as they are not contravened 
directly enough to suggest disobedience, they may readily be 
contravened indirectly ; for the reason that there has not been 
cultivated the habit of contemplating consequences as they work 
out in remote ways. Hence it happens that social arrangements 
essentially at variance with the ethics of the creed, give no 
offence to those who are profoundly offended by whatever seems 
at variance with its theology. l^Iaintenance of the dogmas and 


forms of tlie religion becomes tlie primaiy, all-esseutial tiling ; 
and the secondary thing, often sacrificed, is the securing of those 
relations among men which the spirit of the religion requires. 
How conceptions of good and bad in social affairs are thus 
warped, the pending controversy about the Athanasian creed 
shows us. Here we have theologians who believe that our 
national welfare will be endangered, if there is not in all 
churches an enforced repetition of the dogmas that Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost, are each of them almighty ; that yet there are 
not three Almighties, but one Almighty ; that one of the 
Almighties suffered on the cross and descended into hell to pacify 
another of them ; and that whoever does not believe this, "with- 
out doubt shall perish everlastingly." They say that if the 
State makes its priests threaten with eternal torments all who 
question these doctrines, things will go well ; but if those priests 
who, in this threat, perceive the devil-worship of the savage 
usurping the name of Christianity, are allowed to pass it by in 
silence, woe to the nation ! Evidently the theological bias lead- 
ing to such a conviction entirely excludes Sociology, considered 
as a science. 

Under its special forms, as well as under its general form, the 
theological bias brings errors into the estimates men make of 
societies and institutions. Sectarian antipathies, growing out of 
differences of doctrine, disable the members of each religious 
community from fairly judging other religious communities. It 
is always difficult, and often impossible, for the zealot to con- 
ceive that his own religious system and his own zeal on its behalf 
may have but a relative truth and a relative value ; or to con- 
ceive that there may be relative truths and relative values in 
alien beliefs and the fanaticisms which maintain them. Though 
the adherent of each creed daily has thrust on his attention the 
fact that adherents of other creeds are no less confident than he 
is — though he can scarcely fail sometimes to reflect that those 
adherents of other creeds have, in nearly all cases, simply ac- 


cepted tlie dogmas cuiTent in tlie places and families thcj were 
born in, and that lie lias done tlie like ; yet tlie special theological 
bias which his education and surroundings have given him, 
makes, it almost beyond imagination that these other creeds 
may, some of them, have justifications as good as, if not better 
than, his own, and that the rest, along with certain amounts of 
absolute worth, may have their special fitnesses to the people 
holding them. 

We cannot doubt, for instance, that the feeling with which 
llr. Whalley or Mr. Newdegate regards Roman Catholicism, 
must cause extreme reluctance to admit the services which 
Roman Catholicism rendered to European civilization in the 
past ; and must make almost impossible a patient heaving of 
anyone who thinks that it renders some services now. Whether 
great benefit did not arise in early times from the tendency 
towards unification produced withiu each congeries of small 
societies by a common creed authoritatively imposed ? — whether 
papal power supposed to be divinely deputed, and therefore 
tending to subordinate the political authorities during tui'bulent 
feudal ages, did not serve to curb warfare and further civiliza- 
tion ? — whether the strong tendency shown by early Christianity 
to lapse into separate local paganisms, was not beneficially 
checked by an ecclesiastical system having a single head sup- 
posed to be infallible ? — whether morals were not improved, 
manners softened, slavery ameliorated, and the condition of 
women raised, by the influence of the Church, notwithstanding 
all its superstitions and bigotries ? — are questions to which Dr. 
Cumming, or other vehement opponent of popery, could noc 
bring a mind open to conviction. Similarly, from the 

Roman Catholic the meaning and worth of Protestantism are 
hidden. To the Ultramontane, holding that the temporal wel- 
fare no less than the eternal salvation of men depends on sub- 
mission to the Church, it is incredible that Church-authority has 
but a transitory value, and that the denials of authority which 
have come along with accumulation of knowledge and change of 


sentiment, mark steps from a lower social regime to a liiglier. 
Naturally, the sincere Papist thinks schism a crime ; and books 
that throw clonbt on the established behef s seem to him accursed. 
Nor need we wonder when from such a one there comes a saying 
like that of the Mayor of Bordeaux, so much applauded by the 
Comte de Chambord, that " the Devil was the first Protestant ;" 
or when, along with this, there goes a vilification of Protestants 
too repulsive to be repeated. Clearly, with such a theological 
bias, fostering such ideas respecting Protestant morality, there 
must be extremely- false estimates of Protestant institutions, and 
of all the institutions associated with them. 

In less striking ways, but still in ways sufficiently marked, the 
special theological bias warps the judgments of Conformists and 
Nonconformists among ourselves. A fair estimate of the advan- 
tages which our State-Church has yielded, is not to be expected 
from the zealous dissenter : he sees only the disadvantages. 
Whether voluntaryism could have done centuries ago all that it 
can do now ? — whether a State-supported Protestantism was not 
once the best thing practicable ? — are questions which he is 
unlikely to discuss without prejudice. Contrariwise, the 

ohm'chman is reluctant to believe that the union of Church and 
State is beneficial only during a certain phase of progi'ess. He 
knows that within the Establishment divisions are daily increas- 
ing, while voluntary agency is doing daily a larger share of the 
work originally undertaken by the State ; but he does not like to 
think that there is a kinship between such facts and the fact that 
outside the Establishment the power of Dissent is gi'owing. 
That these changes are parts of a general change by which the 
political and religious agencies, which have been differentiating 
from the beginning, are being separated and specialized, is not 
an acceptable idea. He is averse to the conception that just as 
Pi'otestantism at large was a rebellion against an Ecclesiasticism 
which dominated over Europe, so Dissent among ourselves is a 
rebellion against an Ecclesiasticism which dominates over 
England ; and that the two are but successive stages of the same 


beneficial development. That is to say, Ms bias prevents Lim 
from contemplating tlie facts in a way favourable to scientific in- 
terpretations of them. 

Everywhere, indeed, the special theological bias accompanying 
a special set of doctrines, inevitably pre- judges many sociological 
questions. One who holds a creed as absolutely true, and who 
by implication holds the multitudinous other creeds to be ab- 
solutely false in so far as they differ from his own, cannot enter- 
tain the supposition that the value of a creed is relative. That 
a particular religious system is, in a general sense, a natural part 
of the particular society in which it is found, is an entirely-alien 
conception ; and, indeed, a repugnant one. His system of dog- 
matic theology he thinks good for all places and all times. He 
does not doubt that when planted among a horde of savages, it 
will be duly understood by them, duly appreciated by them, and 
work on them results such as those he experiences from it. Thus 
prepossessed, he passes over the proofs found everywhere, 
that a people is no more capable of suddenly receiving a higher 
form of religion than -it is capable of suddenly receiving a higher 
form of government ; and that inevitably with such religion, as 
with such government, there will go on a degradation which pre- 
sently reduces it to one differing but nominally from its 
predecessor. In other words, his special theological bias blinds 
him to an important class of sociological truths. 

The effects of the theological bias need no further elucidation. 
We will turn our attention to the distortions of judgment caused 
by the anti-theological bias. Not only the actions of reHgious 
dogmas, but also the reactions against them, are disturbing in- 
fluences we have to beware of. Let us glance first at an instance 
of that indignation against the established creed, which all display 
more or less when they emancipate themselves from it. 

" A Nepaul king, Rum Bahadur, whose beautiful queen, finding that 
her lovely face had been disfigured by small-pox, poisoned herself, 
'cursed his kingdom, her doctors, and the gods of Nepaul, vowing 


vengeance on all.' Ha\dng ordered the doctors to be flogged, and the right 
ear and nose of each to be cut off", ' he then wreaked his vengeance on 
the gods of Nepaul, and after abusing them in the most gross way, he 
accused them of having obtained from him twelve thousand goats, 
some hundred-weights of sweetmeats, two thousand gallons of milk, &c., 
under false pretences.' . . . He then ordered all the artillery, 
varying from three to twelve-pounders, to be brought in front of the 
palace. . . . All the guns were then loaded to the muzzle, and 
down he maiched to the head-quarters of the Nepaul deities. . . . 
All the guns were drawn up in front of the several deities, honouring 
the most sacred vnih the heaviest metal. When the order to fire was 
given, many of the chiefs and soldiers ran away panic-stricken, and 
others hesitated to obey the sacrilegious order ; and not until several 
gunners had been cut do^^^l, were the guns opened. Down came the 
gods and goddesses from their hitherto sacred positions ; and after six 
hours' heavy cannonading not a vestige of the deities remained." ' 

Tkis, whicli is one of the most remarkable pieces of iconoclasni 
on record, exhibits in an extreme form the reactive antagonism, 
usually accompanying abandonment of an old belief — an anta- 
gonism that is high in proportion as the previous submission has 
been prof OTind. By stabling their horses in cathedi'als and treat- 
ing the sacred places and symbols with intentional insult, the 
Puritans displayed this feeling in a marked manner ; as again 
did the French revolutionists by pulling down sacristies and 
altar-tables, tearing mass-books into cartridge-papers, drinking 
brandy out of chalices, eating mackerel off patenas, making mock 
ecclesiastical processions, and holding drunken revels in churches. 
Though in our day the breaking of bonds less rigid, effected by 
struggles less violent, is followed by a less excessive opposition 
and hatred ; yet, habitually, the throwing-off of the old form 
involves a replacing of the previous sympathy by more or less of 
antipathy : perversion of judgment causedby the antipathy taking 
the place of that caused by the sympathy. What before was 
I'overenced as wholly true is now scorned as wholly false ; and 
what was treasured as invaluable is now rejected as valueless. 

In some, this state of sentiment and beUef continues. In others. 


the reaction is in course of time followed by a re-reaction. To 
carry out the Carlylean figure, the old clothes which had been 
outgrown and were finally torn off and thrown aside with con- 
tempt, come presently to be looked back upon with more calm- 
ness, and with recognition of the fact that they did good service 
in their time — nay, perhaps with the doubt whether they were 
not thrown off too soon. This re-reaction may be feeble or may 
be strong ; but only when it takes place in due amount is there a 
possibility of balanced judgments either on religious questions or 
on those questions of Social Science into which the religious 
element enters. 

Here we have to glance at the sociological errors caused by the 
anti-theological bias among those in Avhom it does not become 
qualified. Thinking only of what is erroneous in the rejected 
creed, they ignore the truth for which it stands ; contemplating 
only its mischiefs they overlook its benefits ; and doing this, they 
think that nothing but good would result from its general 
abandonment. Let us observe the tacit assumptions made in 
drawing this conclusion. 

It is assumed, in the first place, that adequate guidance for 
conduct in Kfe, private and public, could be had ; and that a 
moral code, rationally elaborated by men as they now are, would 
be duly operative upon them. Neither of these propositions com- 
mends itself when we examine the evidence. We have but to 
observe human action as it meets us at every turn, to see that the 
average intelligence, incapable of guiding conduct even in simple 
matters, where but a very moderate reach of reason would 
sufiice, must fail in apprehending with due clearness the natural 
sanctions of ethical principles. The unthinking ineptitude with 
which even the routine of hfe is carried on by the mass of men, 
shows clearly that they have nothing like the insight required for 
self-guidance in the absence of an authoritative code of conduct. 
Take a day's experience, and observe the lack of thought indicated 
from hour to hour. 


You rise in the morning, and, Tvliile dressing, take np a phial 
containing a tonic, of which a little has been prescribed for yon ; 
bnt after the first few drops have been connted, succeeding drops 
run down the side of the phial, for the reason that the lip is shaped 
without regard to the requirement. Yet milhons of such phials 
are annually made by glass-makers, and sent out by thousands of 
druggists : so small being the amount of sense brought to bear on 
business, l^ow, turning to the looking-glass, you find that, if 
not of the best make, it fails to preserve the attitude in which 
you put it ; or, if what is called a " box " looking-glass, you see 
that maintenance of its position is insured by an expensive 
appliance which would have been superfluous had a little reason 
been used. Were the adjustment such that the centre of gravity 
of the glass came in the line joining the points of support (which 
would be quite as easy an adjustment), the glass would remain 
steady in whatever attitude you gave it. Yet, year after year, tens 
of thousands of looking-glasses are made without regard to so 
simple a need. Presently you go down to breakfast, and taking 
some Harvey or other sauce with your fish, find the bottle 
has a defect like that which you found in the phial : it is sticky 
from the drops which trickle down, and occasionally stain 
the table-cloth. Here are other groups of traders similarly so 
economical of thought, that they do nothing to rectify this 
obvious inconvenience. Having breakfasted, you take up the 
paper, and, before sitting down, wish to put some coal on the 
fire. But the lump you seize with the tongs slips out of them, 
and, if large, you make several attempts before you succeed in 
lifting it : all because the ends of the tongs are smooth. Makers 
and vendors of fire-irons go on, generation after generation, 
without meeting this evil by simply giving to these smooth ends 
some projecting points, or even roughening them by a few burrs 
made with a chisel. Having at length gi-asped the lump and put 
it on the fire, you begin to read ; but before getting thi'ough the 
first column you are reminded, by the changes of position which 
your sensations prompt, that men still fail to make easy-chairs. 


And yet the guiding principle is simple enongli. Just tliat 
advantage secui'ed by using a soft seat in place of a hard one — the 
advantage, namely, of spreading over a larger area the pressure 
of the weight to be borne, and so making the pressure less intense 
at any one point — is an advantage to be sought in the form of the 
chair. Ease is to be gained by making the shapes and relative 
inclinations of seat and back, such as will evenly distribute the 
weight of the trunk and limbs over the mdest-jiossible support- 
ing surface, and with the least straining of the parts out of their 
natural attitudes. And yet only now, after these thousands of years 
of civilization, are there being reached (and that not rationally 
but empirically) approximations to the structure reqiiired. 

Such are the experiences of the first hour ; and so they con- 
tinue all the day through. If you watch and criticize, you may 
see that the immense majority bring to bear, even on those actions 
which it is the business of their lives to carry on effectually, an 
extremely- small amount of faculty. Employ a workman to do 
something that is partly new, and not the clearest explanations 
and sketches will prevent him from blundering ; and to any 
expression of surprise, he will reply that he was not brought up 
to such work : scarely ever betraying the slightest shame in con- 
fessing that he cannot do a thing he was not taught to do. 
Similarly throughout the higher grades of activity. Remember 
how generally improvements in manufactures come fi'om out- 
siders, and you are at once shown with what mere unintelligent 
routine manufactures are commonly carried on. Examine into 
the management of mercantile concerns, and you perceive that 
those engaged in them mostly do nothing more than move in the 
ruts that have gradually been made for them by the process of 
trial and error during a long succession of generations. Indeed, 
it almost seems as though most men made it their aim to get 
through life with the least possible expenditure of thought. 

How, then, can there be looked for such power x)f self-guidance 
as, in the absence of inherited authoritative rules, would require 
them to understand why, in the nature of things, these modes of 


action are injurious and those modes beneficial — would require 
them to pass beyond proximate results, and see clearly the 
involved remote results, as worked out on self, on others, and on 
society ? 

The incapacity need not, indeed, be infc'^rcd : it may be seen, 
if we do but take an action concerning whicLi the sanctified code 
is silent. Listen to a conversation about gambling ; and, where 
reprobation is expressed, note the grounds of the reprobation. 
That it tends towards the ruin of the gambler ; that it risks the 
welfare of family, and friends ; that it alienates from business, 
and leads into bad company — these, and such as these, are the 
reasons given for condemning the practice. Rarely is there any 
recognition of the fundamental reason. Rarely is gambling con- 
demned because it is a kind of action by which pleasure is 
obtained at the cost of pain to another. The normal obtain ment 
of gratification, or of the money which purchases gi-atification, 
implies, firstly, that there has been put forth equivalent elSort of 
a kind which, in some way, furthers the general good ; and im- 
plies, secondly, that those from whom the money is received, get, 
directly or indirectly, equivalent satisfactions. But in gambling 
the opposite happens. Benefit received does not imply effort put 
forth ; and the happiness of the winner involves the misery of the 
loser. This kind of action is therefore essentially anti-social — 
sears the sympathies, cultivates a hard egoism, and so produces 
a general deterioration of character and conduct. 

Clearly, then, a visionary hope misleads those who think that 
in an imagined age of reason, which might forthwith replace an 
age of beliefs but partly rational, conduct would be correctly 
guided by a code directly based on considerations of utility. A 
utilitarian system of ethics cannot at present be rightly thought 
out even by the select few, and is quite beyond the mental reach 
of the many. The value of the inherited and theologically- 
enforced code is that it formulates, with some approach to 
truth, the accumulated results of past human experience. It 
has not arisen rationally but empii'ically. Durmg past times 



mankind have eventually gone right after trying all possible 
ways of going wrong. The -wrong-goings have been habitually 
checked by disaster, and pain, and death ; and the right-goings 
have been continued because not thus checked. There has been 
a growth of beliefs coiTCsponding to these good and evil results. 
Hence the code of conduct, embodying discoveries slowly and 
almost unconsciously made through a long series of generations, 
has transcendent authority on its side. 

Nor is this all. Were it possible forthwith to replace a tradi- 
tionally-established system of rules, supposed to be supernaturally 
warranted, by a system of rules rationally elaborated, no such 
rationally-elaborated system of rules would be adequately opera- 
tive. To think that it would, implies the thought that men's 
beliefs and actions are throughout determined by intellect ; 
whereas they are in much larger degrees determined by feeling. 

There is a wide difference between the formal assent given to 
a proposition that cannot be denied, and the efficient belief which 
produces active conformity to it. Often the most conclusive 
argument fails to produce a conviction capable of swaying con- 
duct ; and often mere assertion, with great emphasis and signs 
of confidence on the part of the utterer, will produce a fixed 
conviction where there is no evidence, and even in spite of adverse 
evidence. Especially is this so among those of little culture- 
Xot only may we see that strength of affirmation and an authori- 
tative manner create faith in them ; but we may see that their 
faith sometimes actually decreases if explanation is given. The 
natural language of belief displayed by another, is that which 
generates their belief — not the logically- conclusive evidence. The 
dependencies of this they cannot clearly follow ; and in trying 
to follow, they so far lose themselves that premisses and conclusion, 
not perceived to stand in necessary relation, are rendered less 
coherent than by putting them in juxtaposition and strengthen- 
ing their connexion by a wave of the emotion which emphatic 
affirmation raises. 

X 2 


Nay, it is even true that tlie most cultivated intelligences, 
capable of criticizing evidence and valuing arguments to a 
nicety, are not thereby made rational to the extent that they are 
guided by intellect apart from emotion. Continually men of the 
widest knowledge deliberately do things they know to be inju- 
rious ; suffer the evils that transgression brings ; are deterred 
awhile by the vivid remembrance of them ; and, when the remem- 
brance has become faint, transgress again. Often the emotional 
consciousness over-rides the intellectual consciousness absolutely, 
as hypochondriacal patients show us. A sufferer from depressed 
spirits may have the testimony of his physicians, verified by nu- 
merous past experiences of his o-oti, showing that his gloomy 
anticipations are illusions caused by his bodily state ; and yet the 
conclusive proofs that they are iri'ational do not enable him to 
get rid of them : he continues to feel sure that disasters are 
coming on him. 

All which, and many kindred facts, make it certain that the 
operativeness of a moral code depends much more on the emo- 
tions called forth by its injunctions, than on the consciousness of 
the utility of obeying such injunctions. The feelings dra-wn out 
during early life towards moral principles, by witnessing the 
social sanction and the religious sanction they possess, influence 
conduct far more than the perception that conformity to such 
principles conduces to welfare. And in the absence of the 
feelings which manifestations of these sanctions arouse, the 
utilitarian belief is commonly inadequate to produce con- 

It is true that the sentiments in the higher races, and espe- 
cially in superior members of the higher races, are now in con- 
siderable degTees adjusted to these principles : the sympathies 
that have become organic in the most developed men, produce 
spontaneous conformity to altruistic precepts. Even for such, 
however, the social sanction, which is in part derived from the 
religious sanction, is important as strengthening the influence of 
these precepts. And for persons endowed with less of moral 


sentiment, tlie social and religious sanctions are still more 
important aids to guidance. 

Thus the anti-theological bias leads to serious errors, both 
when it ignores the essential share hitherto taken hj religious 
systems in giving force to certain principles of action, in part 
absolutely good and in part good relatively to the needs of the 
time, and again when it prompts the notion that these prin- 
ciples might now be so established on rational bases as to rule 
men effectually through their enlightened intellects. 

These errors, however, which the anti-theological bias pro- 
duces, are superficial compared with the error that remains. The 
antagonism to superstitious beliefs habitually leads to entire 
rejection of them. They are thrown aside with the assumption 
that along with so much that is wrong there is nothing right. 
Whereas the truth, recognizable only after antagonism has spent 
itself, is that the wrong beliefs rejected are superficial, and that 
a right belief hidden by them remains when they have been 
rejected. Those who defend, equally with those who assail, 
religious creeds, suppose that everything turns on the mainten- 
ance of the particular dogmas at issue ; whereas the dogmas are 
but temporary forms of that which is permanent. 

The process of Evolution which has gradually modified 
and advanced men's conceptions of the Universe, will continue 
to modify and advance them during the future. The ideas of 
Cause and Origin, which have been slowly changing, will 
change still further. But no changes in them, even when pushed 
to the extreme, will expel them from consciousness ; and hence 
there can never be an extinction of the correlative sentiments. 
No more in this than in other things, will Evolution alter its 
general direction : it will continue along the same lines as 
hitherto. And if we wish to see whither it tends, we have but 
to observe how there has been thus far a decreasing concreteness 
of the consciousness to which the religious sentiment is related, 
to infer that hereafter tliis concreteness will further diminish : 


leaving behind a substance of consciousness for which there i= 
no adequate form, but -which is none the less persistent and 

"Without seeming sOj the development of religious sentiment 
has been continuous from the beginning ; and its nature when a 
germ was the same as is its nature when fully developed. The 
savage first shows it in the feeling excited by a display of 
power in another exceeding his own power — some skill, some 
sagacity, in his chief, leading to a result he does not understand 
— something which has the element of mystery and arouses hi? 
wonder. To his unspeculative intellect there is nothing wonderful 
iu the ordinary course of things around. The regular sequences 
the constant relations, do not preseni themselves to him as pro- 
blems needing interpretation. Only anomalies in that course of 
causation which he knows most intimately, namely, human wiU 
and power, excite his surprise and raise questions. And onlv. 
when experiences of phenomena of other classes become multi- 
plied enough for generalization, does the occurrence of anomalies 
among these also, arouse the same idea of mystery and the same 
sentiment of wonder : hence one kind of fetichism. Passing 

over intermediate stages, the truth to be noted is, that as fast 
as explanation of the anomalies dissipates the wonder they e.T- 
cited, there grows up a wonder at the uniformities : there arises 
the question — How come they to be uniformities ? As fast as 
Science transfers more and more things from the categoiy of 
irregularities to the category of regularities, the mystery that 
once attached to the superstitious explanations of them becomes 
a mystery attaching to the scientific explanations of them : there 
is a merging of many special mysteries in one general mysteiy. 
The astronomer, having shown that the motions of the Solar 
System imply a uniform and invariably-acting force he calls 
gravitation, finds himself utterly incapable of conceiving this 
force. Though he helps himself to think of the Sun's action on 
the Earth by assuming an intervening medium, and finds he must 
do this if he thinks about it at all ; yet the mystery re-appears 


"when Le asks wliat is the constitution of this medium. While 
compelled to use units of ether as symbols, he sees that they can 
be but symbols. Similarly with the physicist and the chemist. 
The hypothesis of atoms and molecules enables them to work out 
multitudinous interpretations that are verified by experiment; 
but the ultimate unit of matter admits of no consistent concep- 
tion. Instead of the particular mysteries presented by those 
actions of matter they have explained, there rises into promi- 
nence the mystery which matter universally presents, and which 
proves to be absolute. So that, beginning with the germinal idea 
of mystery which the savage gets from a display of power in 
another transcending his own, and the germinal sentiment of awe 
accompanying it, the progress is towards an ultimate recognition 
of a mystery behind every act and appearance, and a transfer of 
the awe from something special and occasional to somethin-T 
universal and unceasing. 

!N^o one need expect, then, that the religious consciousness will 
die away or will change the lines of its evolution. Its specialities 
of form, once strongly marked and becoming less distinct during 
past mental progress, will continue to fade ; but the substance of 
the consciousness will persist. That the object-matter can be 
replaced by another object-matter, as supposed by those who 
think the " Religion of Humanity " will be the religion of the 
future, is a belief countenanced neither by induction nor by 
deduction. However dominant may become the moral sentiment 
enlisted on behalf of Humanity, it can never exclude the senti- 
ment, alone properly called religious, awakened by that which is 
behind Humanity and behind all other things. The child by 
wrapping its head in the bed-clothes, may, for a moment, 
suppress the consciousness of surrounding darkness ; but the 
consciousness, though rendered less vivid, survives, and imagina- 
tion persists in occupying itself with that which lies beyond per- 
ception. No such thing as a " Religion of Humanity " can ever 
do more than temporarily shut out the thought of a Power of 
which Humanity is but a small and fugitive product — a Power 


which was in course of ever-changing manifestations before 
Humanity was, and will continue through other manifestations 
when Humanity has ceased to be. 

To recognitions of this order the anti- theological bias is a 
hindrance. Ignoring the truth for which religions stand, it 
under- values religious institutions in the past, thinks they are 
needless in the present, and expects they will leave no represen- 
tatives in the future. Hence mistakes in sociological reasonings. 

To the various other forms of bias, then, against which we 
must guard in studying the Social Science, has to be added the 
bias, perhaps as powerful and perverting as any, which religious 
beliefs and sentiments produce. This, both genei*ally under 
the form of theological bigotry, and specially under the form 
of sectarian bigotry, affects the judgments about public affairs ; 
and reaction against it gives the judgments an opposite warp. 

The theological bias under its general form, tending to main- 
tain a dominance of the subordination-element of religion over 
its ethical element — tending, therefore, to measure actions by 
their formal congruity with a creed rather than by their intrinsic 
congruity with human welfare, is unfavourable to that estima- 
tion of worth in social arrangements which is made by tracing 
out results. And while the general theological bias brings into 
Sociology an element of distortion, by using a kind of measure 
foreign to the science properly so called, the sjDCcial theological 
bias brings in further distortions, arising from special measures 
of this kind which it uses. Institutions, old and new, home and 
foreign, are considered as congruous or incongruous with 
]>articular sets of dogmas, and are liked or disliked accordingly : 
the obvious result being that, since the sets of dogmas differ in 
all times and places, the sociological judgments affected by them 
must inevitably be wrong in all cases but one, and probably ui 
all cases. 

On the other hand, the reactive bias distorts conceptions of 
social phenomena by uuder-valuiug religious systems. It 


generates an unwillingness to see tliat a religioas system is a 
normal and. essential factor in every evolving society ; tliat the 
specialities of it have certain fitnesses to the social conditions ; 
and that while its form is temporary its substance is perman- 
ent. In so far as the anti-theological bias causes an ignoring of 
these truths, or an inadequate appreciation of them, it causes 
misinterpretations . 

To maintain the required equilibrium amid the conflicting 
sympathies and. antipathies which contemplation of religious 
beliefs inevitably generates, is difiicult. In presence of the 
theological thaw going on so fast on all sides, there is on the 
part of many a fear, and on the part of some a hope, that nothing 
will remain. But the hopes and the fears are ahke groundless ; 
and must be dissipated before balanced judgments in Social 
Science can be formed. Like the transformations that have 
succeeded one another hitherto, the transformation now in 
pi'ogress is but an advance from a lower form, no longer fit, 
to a higher and fitter form ; and neither will this transforma- 
tion, nor kindred transformations to come hereafter, destroy that 
which is transformed, any more than past transformations have 
destroyed it. 



In the foregoing eiglit cliapters we have contomplated. under 
their several heads, those " Difficulties of the Social Science " 
which the chapter bearing that title indicated in a general war. 
After thus warning the student against the errors he is liable to 
fall into, partly because of the nature of the phenomena them- 
selves and the conditions they are presented under, and partly 
because of his own nature as observer of them, which by both its 
original and its acquired characters causes twists of perception 
and judgment ; it now remains to say something about the need- 
ful preliminary studies. I do not refer to studies furnishing the 
requisite data ; but I refer to studies giving the i*equisite disci- 
pline. Right thinking in any niatter depends very much on the 
hahit of thought ; and the habit of thought, partly natural, 
depends in part on the artificial influences to which the mind ha- 
been siibjected. 

As certainly as each person has peculiarities of bodily action 
that distinguish him from his fellows, so certainly has he pecu- 
liarities of mental action that give a character to his conceptions. 
There are tricks of thought as well as tricks of muscular move- 
ment. There are acquired mental aptitudes for seeing things 
under particular aspects, as there are acquii-ed bodily aptitudes 
for going through evolutions after particular ways. And there 
are intellectual perversities pi'odnccd by certain modes of treating 


iL"lie mind, as tliere are incurable awkwardnesses due to certain 
pliysical activities daily repeated. 

Each kind of mental discipline, besides its direct effects on 
the faculties brought into play, has its indirect effects on the 
faculties left out of play ; and when special benefit is gained by 
extreme special discipline, there is inevitably more or less general 
mischief entailed on the rest of the mind by the consequent want 
of discipline. That antagonism between body and brain which 
we see in those who, pushing brain-activity to an extrem.e, en- 
feeble their bodies, and those who, pushing bodily activity to an 
extreme, make their brains inert, is an antagonism which holds 
between the parts of the body itself and the parts of the brain 
itself. The greater bulk and strength of the right arm resulting 
from its greater use, and the greater aptitude of the right hand, 
are instances in point ; and that the relative incapacity of the left 
hand, involved by cultivating the capacity of the right hand, 
would become still more marked were the right hand to under- 
take all manipulation, is obvious. The like holds among the 
mental faculties. The fundamental antagonism between feeling 
and cognition, running down through all actions of the mind, 
from the conflicts between emotion and reason to the conflicts 
between sensation and perception, is the largest illustration. "We 
meet with a kindred antagonism among the actions of the intel- 
lect itself, between perceiving and reasoning. Men who have 
aptitudes for accumulating observations are rarely men given to 
generalizing ; while men given to generalizing are commonly 
m.en who, m.ostly using the observations of others, observe for 
themselves less from love of particular facts than from desire to 
put such facts to use. We may trace the antagonism within 
even a narrower range, between general reasoning and sjiecial 
reasoning. One prone to far-reaching speculations rarely pur- 
sues to much purpose those investigations by which particular 
truths are reached ; while the scientific specialist ordinarily has 
but little tendency to occupy himself with wide views. 

No more is needed to make it clear that habits of thought re- 


8ult from particular kinds of mental activity ; and that each 
man's habits of thought influence his judgment on any question 
brought before him. It will be obvious, too, that in proportion 
as the question is involved and many-sided, the habit of thought 
must be a more important factor in determining the conclusion 
arrived at. Where the subject-matter is simple, as a geometrical 
truth or a niechanical action, and has therefore not many different 
aspects, perversions of view consequent on intellectual attitude 
are comparatively few ; but where the subject-matter is complex 
and heterogeneous, and admits of being mentally seen in countless 
different ways, the intellectual attitude affects very greatly the 
form of the conception. 

A fit habit of thought, then, is all-important in the study of 
Sociology ; and a fit habit of thought can be acquired only by 
study of the Sciences at large. For Sociology is a science in 
which the phenomena of all other sciences are included. It pre- 
sents those necessities of relation with which the Abstract Sciences 
deal ; it presents those connexions of cause and effect which the 
Abstract- Concrete Sciences familiarize the student with ; and it 
presents that concurrence of many causes and production of con- 
tingent results, which the Concrete Sciences show us, but which 
we are shown especially by the organic sciences. Hence, to 
acquire the habit of thought conducive to right thinking in 
Sociology, the mind must be familiarized with the fundamental 
ideas which each class of sciences brings into view ; and must 
not be possessed by those of any one class, or any two classes, of 

That this may be better seen, let me briefly indicate the indis- 
pensable discij^line which each class of sciences gives to the 
intellect ; and also the wrong intellectual habits produced if that 
class of sciences is studied exclusively. 

Entire absence of training in the Abstract Sciences, leaves the 
mind without due sense of vecessiti/ of relailon. TTatch the mental 
movements of the wholly-iguorant, before whom there have been 


brouglit not even those exact and fixed connexions which Arith- 
metic exhibits, and it will be seen that they have nothing like 
irresistible convictions that from given data there is an inevitable 
inference. That which to you has the aspect of a certainty, 
seems to them not free from doubt. Even men whose educations 
have made numerical processes and results tolerably familiar, will 
show in a case where ,the implication is logical only, that they 
have not absolute confidence in the dependence of conclusion on 

Unshakeable beliefs in necessities of relation, are to be gained 
only by studying the Abstract Sciences, Logic and Mathematics. 
Dealing with necessities of relation of the simplest class, Logic is 
of some service to this end ; though often of less service than it 
might be, for the reason that the symbols used are not translated 
into thoughts, and hence the connexions stated are not really re- 
presented. Only when, for a logical implication expressed in the 
abstract, there is siibstituted an example so far concrete that the 
inter-dependencies can be contemplated, is there an exercise of 
the mental power by wliich logical necessity is grasped. Of the 
discipline given by Mathematics, also, it is to be remarked that 
the habit of dealing with necessities of numerical relation, 
though in a degree useful for cultivating the consciousness of 
necessity, is not in a high degree useful ; because, in the immense 
majority of cases, the mind, occupied with the symbols used, and 
not passing beyond them to the groups of units they stand for, 
does not really figure to itself the relations expressed — does not 
really discern their necessities ; and has not therefore the con- 
ception of necessity perpetually repeated. It is the more special 
division of Mathematics, dealing with Space-relations, which 
above all other studies yields necessary ideas; and so makes 
strong and definite the consciousness of necessity in general. A 
geometrical demonstration time after time presents premisses and 
conclusion in such wise that the relation alleged is seen in thought 
— cannot be passed over by mere symbolization. Each step ex- 
hibits some connexion of positions or quantities as one that could 


not be otherwise ; and hence the habit of taking such steps 
makes the consciousness of such connexions familiar and vivid. 

But while mathematical discipline, and especially discipline in 
Greometry, is extremely useful, if not indispensable, as a means of 
prejDaring the mind to recognize throughout Nature the absolute- 
ness of uniformities ; it is, if exclusively or too-habitually pursued, 
apt to produce perversions of general thought. Inevitably it 
establishes a special bent of mind ; and inevitably this special 
bent a:ftects all the intellectual actions — causes a tendency to look 
in a mathematical way at matters beyond the range of !Mathe- 
matics. The mathematician is ever dealing with phenomena of 
which the elements are relatively few and definite. His most 
involved problem is immeasurably less involved than are the 
problems of the Concrete Sciences. But, when considering 
these, he cannot help thinking after his habitual way : in deal- 
ing with qiiestions which the Concrete Sciences present, he 
recognizes some few only of the factors, tacitly ascribes to these 
a definiteness which they have not, and proceeds after the mathe- 
matical manner to draw positive conclusions from "these data, as 
though they were specific and adequate. 

Hence the truth, so often illustrated, that mathematicians are 
bad reasoners on contingent matters. To older illustrations may 
be added the recent one yielded by M. Michel Chasles, who proved 
himself incapable as a judge of evidence in the matter of the 
Xewton- Pascal forgeries. Another was supplied by the late 
Professor De Morgan, who, bringing his mental eye to bear with 
microscopic power on some small part of a question, ignored its 
main features. 

By cultivation of the Abstract-Concrete Sciences, there is pro- 
duced a further habit of thought, not otherwise produced, which 
is essential to right thinking in general ; and, by implication, to 
right thinking in Sociology. Familiarity with the various orders 
of physical and chemical phenomena, gives distinctness and 
strength to the consciousness of cause ami effect 


Experiences of things around do, indeed, yield conceptions of 
special forces and of force in general. The uncultured get from 
these experiences, degrees of faith in causation such that where 
they see some striking effect they usually assume an adequate 
cause, and where a cause of given amount is manifest, a pro- 
portionate effect is looked for. Especially is this so where the 
actions are simple mechanical actions. Still, these impressions 
^vhich daily life furnishes, if unaided by those derived from 
physical science, leave the mind with but vague ideas of causal 
relations. It needs but to remember the readiness with which 
people accept the alleged facts of the Spiritualists, many of which 
imply a direct negation of the mechanical axiom that action and 
reaction are equal and opposite, to see how much the ordiuar'y 
thoughts of causation lack quantitativeness — lack the idea of 
proportion between amount of force expended and amount of 
change wrought. Very generally, too, the ordinary thoughts of 
causation are not even qualitatively valid : the most absurd 
notions as to what cause will produce what effect are frequently 
disclosed. Take, for instance, the popular belief that a goat kept 
in a stable will preserve the health of the horses ; and note how 
this belief, accepted on the authority of grooms and coachmen, is 
repeated by their educated employers — as I lately heard it 
repeated by an American general, and agreed in by two retired 
English officials. Clearly, the readiaess to admit, on such evi- 
dence, that such a cause can produce such an effect, implies a 
consciousness of causation which, even qualitatively considered, 
is of the crudest kind. And such a consciousness is, indeed, 
everywhere betrayed by the superstitions traceable among all 

Hence we must infer that the uncompared and unanalyzed 
observations men make in the course of their dealings with 
things around, do not suffice to give them wholly-rational ideas 
of the process of things. It requires that physical actions shall 
be critically examined, the factors and results measured, and 
different cases contrasted, before there can be reached clear ideas 


of necessary causal dependence. And tlins to investigate physical 
actions is the business of the Abstract- Concrete Sciences. Every 
experiment which the physicist or the chemist makes, brings 
afresh before his consciousness the truth, given countless times 
in his previous experiences, that from certain antecedents of par- 
ticular kinds there wiU inevitably follow a particular kind of 
consequent ; and that from certain amounts of the antecedents, 
the amount of the consequent will be inevitably so much. The 
habit of thought generated by these hom'ly-repeated experiences, 
always the same, always exact, is one which makes it impossible 
to think of any effect as arising without a cause, or any cause as 
expended without an effect ; and one which makes it impossible 
to think of an effect out of proportion to its cause, or a cause out 
of proportion to its effect. 

While, however, study of the Abstract-Concrete Sciences 
carried on experimentally, gives clearness and strength to the 
consciousness of causation, taken alone it is inadequate as a dis- 
cipline ; and if pursued exclusively, it generates a habit of thought 
which betrays into erroneous conclusions when higher orders of 
phenomena are dealt with. The process of physical inquiry is 
essentially analytical ; and the daily pursuit of this process 
generates two tendencies — the tendency to contemplate singly 
those factors which it is the aim to disentangle and identify and 
measure; and the tendency to rest in the results reached, 
as though they were the final results to be sought. The 
chemist, by saturating, neutralizing, decomposing, precipitating, 
and at last separating, is enabled to measure what quantity of 
this element had been held in combination by a given quantity of 
that ; and when, by some alternative course of analysis, he has 
verified the result, his inquiry is in so far concluded : as are 
kindred inquiries respecting other affinities of the element, when 
these are quahtatively and qiiantitatively determined. His 
habit is to get rid of, or neglect as much as possible, the con- 
comitant disturbing factors, that he may ascertain the nature 
and amount of some one, and then of some other and his end is 


acTiieved when accounts have been given of all the factors, iadi- 
vidnallj considered. So is it, too, with the physicist. Say the 
problem is the propagation of sound through air, and the inter- 
23retation of its velocity — say, that the velocity as calculated by 
Newton is found less by one-sixth than observation gives ; and 
that Laplace sets himself to explain the anomaly. He recognizes 
the evolution of heat by the compression which each sound-wave 
produces in the air ; finds the extra velocity consequent on this ; 
adds this to the velocity previously calculated ; finds the result 
answer to the observed fact ; and then, having resolved the 
phenomenon into its components and measured them, considers 
his task concluded. So throughout : the habit is that of identify- 
ing, parting, and estimatiag factors ; and stopping after having 
done this completely. 

This habit, carried into the interpretation of things at large, 
affects it somewhat as the mathematical habit affects it. It tends 
towards the formation of unduly-simple and unduly-definite con- 
ceptions ; and it encourages the natural propensity to be content 
with proximate results. The daily practice of dealing vdth single 
factors of phenomena, and with factors complicated by but few 
others, and with factors ideally separated from their combina- 
""ions, inevitably gives to the thoughts about surrounding things 
an analytic rather than a synthetic character. It promotes the 
contemplation of simple causes apart from the entsLUgledL jjlexus 
of co-operating causes which all the higher natural phenomena 
show us ; and begets a tendency to suppose that when the results 
of such simple causes have been exactly determined, nothing 
remains to be asked. 

Physical science, then, though indispensable as a means of 
developing the consciousness of causation in its simple definite 
forms, and thus preparing the mind for deahng with complex 
causation, is not sufficient of itself to make complex causation 
truly comprehensible In illustration of its inadequacy, I might 
name a distinguished mathematician and physicist whose achieve- 
ments place lim in the first rank, but who, nevertheless, when 


entering on questions of concrete science, -wliere the data are no 
longer few and exact, has repeatedly shown defective judgment. 
Choosing premisses which, to say the least, were gratuitous and 
in some cases improbable, he has proceeded by exact methods to 
draw definite conclusions ; and has then enunciated those con- 
clusions as though they had a certainty proportionate to the 
exactness of his methods. 

The kind of discipline which affords the needful corrective, is 
the discipline which the Concrete Sciences give. Study of the 
forms of phenomena, as in Logic and Mathematics, is needful but 
by no means sufficient. Study of the /actors of phenomena, as iu 
Mechanics, Physics, Chemistiy, is also essential, but not enough 
by itself, or enough even joined with study of the forms. Study 
of ^e products themselves, in their totalities, is no less necessary. 
Exclusive attention to forms and factors not only fails to give 
right conceptions of products, but even tends to make the 
conceptions of products wrong. The analytical habit of mind 
has to be supplemented by the synthetical habit of mind. Seen 
in its proper place, analysis has for its chief function to prepare 
the way for synthesis ; and to keep a due mental balance, there 
must be not only a recognition of the truth that synthesis is the 
end to which analysis is the means, but there must also be a 
practice of synthesis along with a practice of analysis. 

All the Concrete Sciences familiarize the mind with certain 
cardinal conceptions which the Abstract and Abstract-Concrete 
Sciences do not yield — the conceptions of continuity, complexity, 
aaid contingency. The simplest of the Concrete Sciences, Astro- 
nomy and Geology, yield the idea of continuity with great 
distinctness. I do not mean continuity of existence merely ; I 
mean continuity of causation : the unceasing production of effect 
— the never-ending work of every force. On the mind of the 
astronomer there is vividly impressed the idea that any one 
planet which has been drawn out of its course by another 
planet, or by a combination of others, will through all future time 


follow a route different from that it would have followed but for 
the perturbation ; and he recognizes its reaction upon the per- 
turbing planet or planets, as similarly having effects which, while 
ever being complicated and ever slowly diffused, will never be 
lost during the immeasurable periods to come. So, too, the 
geologist sees in each change wrought on the Earth's crust, by 
igneous or aqueous action, a rew factor that goes on perpetually 
modifying all subsequent changes. An upheaved portion of sea- 
bottom alters the courses of ocean-currents, modifies the climates 
of adjacent lands, affects their rain-falls and prevailing winds, 
their denudations and the deposits round their coasts, their floras 
and faunas ; and these effects severally become causes that act 
unceasingly in ever- multiplying ways. Always there is traceable 
the persistent working of each force, and the progressive com- 
phcation of the results through succeeding geologic epochs. 

These conceptions, not yielded at all by the Abstract and 
Abstract- Concrete Sciences, and yielded by the inorganic Con- 
crete Sciences in ways which, though unquestionable, do not 
arrest attention, are yielded in clear and striking ways by the 
organic Concrete Sciences — the sciences that deal with living 
things. Every organism, if we read the lessons it gives, 
shows U.S continuity of causation and complexity of causation. 
The ordinary facts of inheritance illustrate continuity of causa- 
tion — very conspicuously where varieties so distinct as negro and 
white are united, and where traces of the negro come out genera- 
tion after generation ; and still better among domestic animals 
where traits of remote ancestry show the persistent working of 
causes which date far back. Organic phenomena make us 
familiar with complexity of causation, both by showing the co- 
operation of many antecedents to each consequent, and by show- 
ing the multiplicity of results which each influence works out. 
If we observe how a given weight of a given drug produces on no 
two persons exactly like effects, and produces even on the same 
person different effects in different constitutional states ; we 
see at once how involved is the combination of factors by which 

T 2 


tlie changes in an organism are brouglit abont, and how extremely 
contingent, therefore, is each particular change. And we need 
but watch what happens after an injury, say of the foot, to per- 
ceive how, if permanent, it alters the gait, alters the adjustment 
and bend of the body, alters the movements of the arms, alters 
the features into some contracted form accompanying pain or in- 
convenience. Indeed, through the re-adjustments, musculai', 
nervous, and visceral, which it entails, this local damage acts and 
re-acts on function and structure throughout the whole body : 
producing effects which, as they diffuse, compHcate incalculably. 
While, in multitudinous ways, the Science of Life thrusts on the 
attention of the student the cardinal notions of continuity, and 
complexity, and contingency, of causation, it introduces him to a 
further conception of moment, which the inorganic Concrete 
Sciences do not furnish — the conception of what we may call 
jrudifijing causation. For as it is a distinction between living 
and not-living bodies that the first propagate while the second do 
not ; it is also a distinction between them that certain actions 
which go on in the first are cumulative, instead of being, as in 
the second, dissipative. Not only do organisms as wholes 
i'ei3roduce, and so from small beginnings reach, by multipli- 
cation, great results ; but components of them, normal and mor- 
bid, do the like. Thus a minute portion of a virus introduced 
into an organism, does not work an effect proportionate to its 
amount, as would an inorganic agent on an inorganic mass ; but 
by appropriating materials from the blood of the organism, and 
thus immensely increasing, it works effects altogether out of 
proportion to its amount as originally introduced — effects which 
may continue with accumulating power throughout the remaining 
life of the organism. It is so with internally- evolved agencies as 
well as with externally- invading agencies. A portion of germinal 
matter, itself microscopic, may convey from a parent some con- 
stitutional peculiarity that is infinitesimal in relation even to its 
minute bulk ; and from this there may arise, fifty years after- 
wards, gout or insanity in the resulting man : after this great 


lapse of time, slowly increasing actions and products sliow them- 
selves in large derangements of function and stractnre. And tliis 
is a trait characteristic of organic phenomena. While from the 
destructive changes going on throughout the tissues of living 
bodies, there is a continual production of effects which lose them- 
selves by subdivision, as do the effects of inorganic forces ; there 
arise from those constructive changes going on in them, by which 
living bodies are distinguished from not-living bodies, certain 
classes of effects which increase as they diffuse — go on augment- 
ing in volume as well as in variety. 

Thus, as a discipline, study of the Science of Life is essential ; 
partly as familiarizing the mind with the cardinal ideas of con- 
tinuity, complexity, and contingency, of causation, in clearer and 
more various ways than do the other Concrete Sciences, and 
partly as familiarizing the mind with the cardinal idea of fructi- 
fying causation, which the other Concrete Sciences do not pre- 
sent at all. Not that, pursued exclusively, the Organic Sciences 
will yield these conceptions in clear forms : there requii'es a 
familiarity with the Abstract- Concrete Sciences to give the 
requisite grasp of simple causation. Studied by themselves, the 
Organic Sciences tend rather to make the ideas of causation 
cloudy ; for the reason that the entanglement of the factors and 
the contingency of the results is so great, that definite relations 
of antecedents and consequents cannot be established : the two 
are not presented in such connexions as to make the conception 
of caiTsal action, qualitative and quantitative, sufficiently distinct. 
There requires, first, the discijDline yielded by Physics and 
Chemistry, to make definite the ideas of forces and actions as 
necessarily related in then- kinds and amounts ; and then the 
study of organic phenomena may be carried on with a clear con- 
sciousness that while the processes of causation are so involved 
as often to be inexplicable, yet there is causation, no less neces- 
sarv and no less exact than causation of simpler kinds. 

And now to apply these considerations on meutal discipline to 


our immediate topic. For the effectual studj of Sociology there 
needs a habit of thought generated by the studies of all these 
sciences — not, of course, an exhaustive, or even a very extensive, 
study ; but such a study as shall give a grasp of the cardinal 
ideas they severally yield. For, as already said, social pheno- 
mena involve phenomena of every order. 

That there are necessities of relation such as those with which 
the Abstract Sciences deal, cannot be denied when it is seen that 
societies present facts of number and quantity. That the actions 
of men in society, in all their movements and productive pro- 
cesses, must conform to the laws of the physical forces, is also 
indisputable. And that everything thought and felt and done in 
the course of social life, is thought and felt and done in harmony 
with the laws of individual life, is also a truth — almost a truism, 
indeed ; though one of which few seem conscious. 

Scientific culture in general, then, is needful ; and above all. 
culture of the Science of Life. This is more especially re- 
quisite, however, because the conceptions of continuity, com- 
plexity, and contingency of causation, as well as the conception 
of fructifying causation, are conceptions common to it and to the 
Science of Society. It affords a specially-fit discipline, for the 
reason that it alone among the sciences produces familiarity "v\^th 
these cardinal ideas — presents the data for them in forms easily 
grasped, and so prepares the mind to recognize the data for 
them in the Social Science, where they are less easily grasped, 
though no less constantly presented. 

The supreme importance of this last kind of culture, however, 
is not to be adequately shown by this brief statement. For 
besides generating habits of thought appropriate to the study 
of the Social Science, it furnishes special conceptions which 
serve as keys to the Social Science. The Science of Life 
yields to the Science of Society, certain great generahzations 
without which there can be no Si-icnce of Society at all. Let ua 
go on to observe the relations of the two. 



The parable of the sower has its application to the progress of 
Science. Time after time new ideas are sown and do not germi- 
nate, or, having germinated, die for lack of fit environments, 
before they are at last sown under such conditions as to take 
rool and flourish. Among other instances of this, one is supplied 
by the history of the truth here to be dwelt on — the dependence 
of Sociology on Biology. Even limiting the search to our own 
society, we may trace back this idea nearly three centuries. In 
the first book of Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, it is. enunciated 
as clearly as the state of knowledge in his age made possible — 
more clearly, indeed, than was to be expected in an age when 
science and scientific ways of thinking had advanced so little. 
Along with the general notion of natural law — along, too, with 
the admission that human actions, resulting as they do from desires 
guided by knowledge, also in a sense conform to law ; there 
is a recognition of the fact that the formation of societies is 
determined by the attributes of individuals, and that the growth 
of a governmental organization follows from the natures of the 
men who have associated themselves the better to satisfy their 
needs. Entaiigled though this doctrine is with a theological 
doctrine, through the restraints of which it has to break, it is 
expressed -with considerable clearness : there needs but better 
definition and further development to make it truly scientific. 

Among re-appearances of this thoiight in subsequent English 
writers, I will here name only one, which I happen to have 


obsei'ved in An Essay on the History of Civil Society, published a 
century ago by Dr. Adam Ferguson. In it the first part treats 
" of the Crenei-al Characteristics of Human Nature." Section I., 
pointing out the universality of the gregarious tendency, the 
dependence of this on certain affections and antagonisms, and 
the influences of memory, foresight, language, and communica- 
tiveness, alleges that "these facts must be admitted as the 
foundation of all our reasoning relative to man." Though the 
way in which social phenomena arise out of the phenomena of 
individual human nature, is seen in but a general and vague way, 
yet it is seen — there is a conception of causal relation. 

Before this conception could assume a definite form, it was 
necessary both that scientific knowledge should become more 
comprehensive and precise, and that the scientific spirit should 
be strengthened. To M. Comte, living when these conditions 
were fulfilled, is due the credit of having set forth with compa* 
rative definiteness, the connexion between the Science of Life 
and the Science of Society. He saw clearly that the facts pre- 
sented by masses of associated men, are facts of the same order 
as those presented by groups of gregarious creatm'es of inferior 
kinds ; and that in the one case, as in the other, the individuals 
must be studied before the assemblages can be understood. He 
therefore placed Biology before Sociology in his classification of 
the sciences. Biological preparation for sociological study, he 
regarded as needful not only because the phenomena of corpo- 
rate life, arising out of the phenomena of individual life, can be 
rightly co-ordinated only after the phenomena of individual life 
have been rightly co-ordinated ; but also because the methods of 
inquiry which Biology uses, are methods to be used by Sociology. 
In various ways, which it would take too much space here to 
specify, he exhibits this dependence very satisfactorily. It 

may, indeed, be contended that certain of his other beHefs prevented 
him from seeing all the implications of this dependence. When, 
for instance, he speaks of " the intellectual anarchy which is tho 
main source of our moral anarchy " — when he thus discloses the 


faith, pervading his Course of Positive Philosophy, that ti'ue theory 
would bring right practice ; it becomes clear that the relation 
between the attributes of citizens and the phenomena of societies 
is incorrectly seen by him :' the relation is far too deep a one to 
be changed by mere change of ideas. Again, denying, as he did, 
the indefinite modifiability of species, lie almost ignored one of 
the cardinal truths which Biology yields to Sociology — a truth 
without which, sociological interpretations must go wrong. 
Though lie admits a certain modifiability of Man, both emo- 
tional and intellectual, yet the dogma of the fixity of species, 
to which he adhered, kept his conceptions of individual and 
social change within Hmits much too sj)ecific. Hence arose, 
among other erroneous pre-conceptions, this serious one, that the 
different forms of society presented by savage and civilized races 
all over the globe, are but different stages in the evolution of one 
form : the truth being, rather, that social types, like types of 
individual organisms, do not form a series, but are classifiable 
only in divergent and re-divergent groups. 'Nor did he 

arrive at that conception of the Social Science which alone 
fully afiiliates it upon the simpler sciences — the conception of it as 
an account of the most complex forms of that continuous redistri- 
bution of matter and motion which is going on universally. 
Only when it is seen that the transformations passed through 
during the growth, maturity, and decay of a society, conform to 
the same principles as do the transformations passed through by 
aggregates of all orders, inorganic and organic — only when it is 
seen that the process is in all cases similarly determined by 
forces, and is not scientifically interpreted nntil it is expressed in 
terms of those forces ; — only then is there reached the conception 
of Sociology as a science, in the complete meaning of the word. 

Nevertheless, we must not overlook the greatness of the step 
made by M. Comte. His mode of contemplating the facts was 
truly philosophical. Containing, along with special views not to 
be admitted, many thoughts that are true as well as large and 
suggestive, the introductory chapters to his Sociology show a 


breadth and depth of conception beyond any previously reached. 
Apart from the tenabihty of his sociological doctrines, his "way 
of conceiving social phenomena was much superior to all previous 
ways ; and among other of its superiorities, was this recognition 
of the dependence of Sociology on Biology. 

Here leaving the history of this idea, let us turn to the idea 
itself. There are two distinct and equally-important ways in 
which these sciences are connected. In the fii'st place, all 
social actions being determined by the actions of individuals, 
and all actions of individuals being vital actions that conform to 
the laws of life at large, a rational interpretation of social actions 
implies knowledge of the laws of life. In the second place, a society 
as a whole, considered apart from its living units, presents phe- 
nomena of gro'wth, structure, and function, like those of growth, 
structure, and function in an individual body ; and these last are 
needful keys to the first. We will begin with this analogical 

Figures of speech, which often mislead by conveying the 
notion of complete likeness where only slight similarity exists, 
occasionally mislead by making an actual correspondence seem a 
fancy. A metaphor, when used to express a real I'esemblance, 
raises a suspicion of mere imaginary resemblance ; and so 
obscures the perception of intrinsic kinship. It is thus with the 
phrases "body politic," "political organization," and others, 
which tacitly liken a society to a living creature : they are 
assumed to be phrases havmg a certain convenience but express- 
ing no fact — tending rather to foster a fiction. And yet 
metaphors are here more than metaphors in the ordinary sense. 
They are devices of speech hit upon to suggest a truth at first 
dimly perceived, but which grows clearer the more carefully the 
evidence is examined. That there is a real analogy between an 
individual organism and a social organism, becomes undeniable 
when certain necessities determining structure are seen to govern 
them in common. 




Mutual dependence of parts is that whicli initiates and guides 
organization of every kind. So long as, in a mass of living 
matter, all parts are alike, and all parts similarly live and grow 
without aid from one another, there is no organization : the un- 
differentiated aggregate of protoplasm thus characterized, 
belongs to the lowest grade of living things. Without distinct 
faculties, and capable of but the feeblest movements, it cannot 
adjust itself to circumstances ; and is at the mercy of environing 
destructive actions. The changes by which this structureless 
mass becomes a structured mass, having the characters and 
powers possessed by what we call an organism, are changes 
through which its parts lose their original likenesses ; and do 
this while assuming the unlike kinds of activity for which their 
respective positions towards one another and surrounding things 
fit them. These differences of function, and consequent dif- 
ferences of sti-ucture, at first feebly marked, slight in degree, and 
few in kind, become, as organization progresses, definite and 
numerous ; and in proportion as they do this the requirements) 
are better raet. Now structural traits expressible in the 

same language, distinguish lower and higher types of societies 
from one another ; and distinguish the earlier stages of each 
society from the later. Primitive tribes show no established 
contrasts of parts. At first all men carry on the same kinds of 
activities, with no dependence on one another, or but occasional 
dependence. There is not even a settled chieftainship ; and only 
in times of war is there a spontaneous and temporary subordina- 
tion to those who show themselves the best leaders. From the 
small unformed social aggregates thus characterized, the progress 
is towards social aggregates of increased size, the parts of which 
acquire unlikenesses that become ever greater, more definite, 
and more miiltitudinous. The units of the society as it evolves, 
fall into different orders of activities, determined by difference.s 
in their local conditions or their individual powers ; and there 
slowly result permanent social structures, of which the 
primary ones become decided while they are being com- 


plicated by secondary ones, growing in their turns decided, and 
so on. 

Even were this all, the analogy would be suggestive ; but it is 
not all. These two metamorphoses have a cause in common. 
Beginning with an animal composed of like parts, severally 
living by and for themselves, on what condition only can there 
be established a change, such that one part comes to perform one 
kind of function, and another part another kind? Evidently 
each part can abandon that original state in which it fulfilled for 
itself all vital needs, and can assume a state in which it fulfils in 
excess some single vital need, only if its other vital needs are 
fulfilled for it by other parts that have meanwhile undertaken 
other special activities. One portion of a living aggregate can- 
not devote itself exclusively to the respiratory function, and 
cease to get nutriment for itself, unless other portions that have 
become exclusively occupied in absorbing nutriment, give it a 
due supply. That is to say, there must be exchange of services. 
Organization in an individual creature is made possible only by 
dependence of each part on all, and of all on each. 'Now 

this is obviously true also of social organization. A member of 
a primitive society cannot devote himself to an order of activity 
which satisfies one only of his personal wants, thus ceasing the 
activities required for satisfying his other personal wants, unless 
those for whose benefit he carries on his special activity in 
excess, give him in return the benefits of then* special activities. 
If he makes weapons instead of continuing a hunter, he must, 
be supplied with the produce of the chase on condition that the 
hunters are supplied with his weapons. If he becomes a cul- 
tivator of the soil, no longer defending himself, he must be 
defended by those who have become specialized defenders. That 
is to say, mutual dependence of parts is essential for the com- 
mencement and advance of social organization, as it is for the 
commencement and advance of individual organization. 

Even were there no more to be pointed out, it would be clear 
cnousrh that we are not here dealing with a figui-ative resem- 


blance, btit witli a fundamental parallelism in principles of stric- 
ture. We have but begun to explore the analogy, however. The 
further we inquire, the closer we find it to be. For what, let us 
ask, is implied by mutual dependence — ^by exchange of services ? 
There is implied some mode of communication between mutually- 
dependent parts. Parts that perform functions for one another's 
benefit, must have appliances for conveying to one another the 
products of their respective functions, or for giving to one 
another the benefits (when these are not material products) 
which their respective functions achieve. And obviously, in pro- 
portion as the organization becomes high, the appliances for 
carrying on the intercourse must become involved. This we find 
to hold in both cases. In the lowest types of individual 

organisms, the exchange of services between the slightly-dif- 
ferentiated parts is eifected in a slow, vague way, by an irregular 
diffusion of the nutrient matters jointly elaborated, and by an 
irregular propagation of feeble stimuli, cai^sing a rude co-ordi- 
nation in the actions of the parts. It is thus, also, with small and 
simple social aggregates. No definite arrangements for inter- 
changing services exist ; but only indefinite ones. Barter of 
products — food, skins, weapons, or what not — ^takes place irre- 
gularly between individual producers and consumers throughout 
the whole social body : there is no trading or distributing system, 
as, in the rudimentary animal, there is no vascular system. So, 
too, the social organism of low type, like the individual organism 
of low type, has no appliances for combining the actions of its 
remoter parts. When co-operation of them against an enemy is 
called for, there is nothing but the spread of an alarm from man 
to man throughout the scattered population ; just as in an un- 
developed kind of animal, there is merely a slow undirected 
diffusion of stimulus from one point to all others. In 

either case, the evolution of a larger, more complex, more active 
organism, implies an increasingly-efficient set of agencies for 
conveying from part to part the material products of the respec- 
tive parts, and an increasingly-efficient set of agencies for making 


the parts co-operate, so that the times and amounts of their 
activities may be kept in fit relations. And this, the facts every- 
where show us. In the individual organism as it advances to a 
high, structure, no matter of what class, there arises an elaborate 
system of channels through, which the common stock of nutritive 
matters (here added to by absorption, there changed by secre- 
tion, in this place purified by excretion, and in another modified 
by exchange of gases) is distributed throughout the body for the 
feeding of the various parts, severally occupied in their special 
actions ; while in the social organism as it advances to a high 
structure, no matter of what political type, there develops an 
extensive and complicated trading organization for the distribu- 
tion of commodities, which, sending its heterogeneous currents 
through the kingdom by channels that end in retailers' shops, 
brings within reach of each citizen the necessaries and luxuries 
that have been produ.ced by others, while he has been producing 
his commodity or small part of a commodity, or performing 
some other function or small part of a function, beneficial to 
the rest. Similarly, development of the individual organism, 
he its class what it may, is always accompanied by development 
of a nervous system which renders the combined actions of the 
parts prompt and duly proportioned, so making possible the 
adjustments required for meeting the varying contingencies ; 
while, along with development of the social organism, there 
always goes development of directive centres, general and local, 
with established arrangements for inter-changing information and 
instigation, serving to adjust the rates and kinds of activities 
going on in different parts. 

Now if there exists this fundamental kinship, there can be no 
rational apprehension of the truths of Sociology until there has 
been reached a rational apprehension of the truths of Biology. 
The services of the two sciences are, indeed, reciprocal. We 
have but to glance back at its progress, to see that Biology owes 
the cardinal idea on which we have been dwelling, to Sociology ; 
and that having derived from Sociology this explanation of de- 


velopment, it gives it back to Sociology greatly increased in 
definiteness, enriclied by countless illustrations, and fit for 
extension in new directions. The luminous conception first 
set forth by one whom we may claim as our countryman bv 
blood, though French by birth, M. Milne-Edwards — the concep- 
tion of " the physiological division of labour," obviously originates 
from the generalization previously reached in Political Economy. 
Recognition of the advantages gained by a society when different 
groups of its members devote themselves to different industries, 
for which they acquire special aptitudes and surround themselves 
A\ith special facilities, led to recognition of the advantages which 
an individual organism gains when parts of it, originally alike 
and having like activities, divide these activities among them ; so 
that each taking a special kind of activity acquires a special 
fitness for it. But when carried from Sociology to Bio- 

logy, this conception was forthwith greatly expanded. Instead 
of being limited to the functions included in nutrition, it was 
found applicable to all functions whatever. It turned out that 
the arrangements of the entire organism, and not of the viscera 
alone, conform to this fundamental principle — even the differences 
arising among the limbs, originally alike, were seen to be inter- 
pretable by it. And then mark that the idea thus developed into 
an all-embracing truth in Biology, returns to Sociology ready 
to be for it, too, an all-embracing truth. For it now becomes 
manifest that not to industrial arrangements only does the prin- 
ciple of the division of labour apply, but to social arrangements 
in general. The progress of organization, from that first step by 
which there arose a controlling chief, partially distinguished by 
his actions from those controlled, has been everywhere the same. 
Be it in the growth of a regulative class more or less marked off 
from classes regulated — be it in the partings of this regulative 
class into political, ecclesiastical, etc. — be it in those distinctions 
of duties within each class which are signified by gradations of 
rank ; we may trace everywhere that fundamental law shown us 
by industrial organization. And when we have once adequately 


grasped tMs truth whicli Biology borrows frorp. Sociology and 
returns with vast interest, the aggregate of phenomena which a 
society at any moment presents, as well as the series of de- 
velopmental changes through which it has risen to them, become 
suddenly illuminated, and the rationale comparatively clear. 

After a recognition of this fundamental kinship there can be 
no difficulty in seeing how important, as an introduction to the 
. study of social life, is a familiarization with the truths of indi^-idual 
life. For individual life, while showing us this division of labour, 
this exchange of services, in many and varied ways, shows it in 
ways easily traced ; because the structures and functions are 
presented in directly-perceivable forms. And only when multitu- 
dinous biological examples have stamped on the mind the con- 
ception of a growing inter-dependence that goes along with a 
growing specialization, and have thus induced a habit of thought, 
will its sociological applications be duly appreciated. 

I Turn we now from the indii'ect influence which Biology exerts 
on Sociology, by supplying it with rational conceptions of social 
development and organization, to the direct influence it exerts 
by furnishing an adequate theory of the social unit — Man. For 
while Biology is mediately connected with Sociology by a certain 
parallelism between the groups of phenomena they deal with, it 
is immediately connected with Sociology by having within its 
limits this creature whose properties originate social evolution. 
The human being is at once the terminal problem of Biology and 
the initial factor of Sociology. 

If Man were uniform and unchangeable, so that those attributes 
of him which lead to social phenomena could be learnt and dealt 
with as constant, it would not much concern the sociologist to 
make himself master of other biological trutlis than those cardinal 
ones above dwelt upon. But since, in common with every other 
creature, Man is modifiable — since his modifications, like those of 
every other creature, are ultimately determined by surrounding 
conditions — and since surrounding conditions are in part con- 


stituted by social arrangements ; it becomes requisite tliat the 
sociologist should acquaint himself with the laws of modification 
to which organized beings in general conform. Unless he does 
this he must continually err, both in thought and deed. As 
thinker, he will fail to understand the increasing action and reac- 
tion of institutions and character, each slowly modifying the 
other through successive generations. As actor, his furtherance 
of this or that public policy, being unguided by a true theory of 
the effects wrought on citizens, will probably be mischievous 
rather than beneficial ; since there are more ways of going wrono* 
than of going right. How needful is enlightenment on this 
point, will be seen on remembering that scarcely anywhere is 
attention given to the modifications which a new agency, pohtical 
or other, will produce in men's natures. Immediate influence 
on actions is alone contemplated ; and the immeasurably more 
important influence on the bodies and minds of future genera- 
tions, is wholly ignored. 

Yet the biological truths which should check this random 
political speculation and rash political action, are conspicuous ; 
and might, one would have thought, have been recognized by 
everyone, even without special preparation in Biology. That 
faculties and powers of all orders, while they grow by exercise, 
dwindle when not used ; and that alterations of nature descend 
to posterity ; are facts continually thrust on men's attention, and 
more or less admitted by each. Though the evidence of heredity, 
when looked at in detail, seems obscure, because of the multitu- 
dinous differences of parents and of ancestors, which all take 
their varying shares in each new product ; yet, when looked at 
in the mass, the evidence is overwhelming. jSTot to dwell on the 
countless proofs furnished by domesticated animals of many 
kinds, as modified by breeders, the proofs furnished by the 
human races themselves are amply sufficient. That each variety 
of man goes on so reproducing itself that adjacent generations 
are nearly alike, however appreciable may sometimes be the 
divergenc^e in a long series of generations, is undeniable. Chinese 



are recognizable as Chinese in whatever part of the globe we see 
them; every one assumes a black ancestry for any Negro lie meets ; 
and no one doubts that the less-marked racial varieties have great 
degrees of persistence. On the otlier hand, it is unquestionable 
that the likenesses which the members of one human stock pre- 
serve, generation after generation, where the conditions of Hfe 
remain constant, give place to unlikenesses that slowly increase 
in the course of centuries and thousands of years, if the members 
of that stock, spreading into different habitats, fall under dif- 
ferent sets of conditions. If we assume the original unity of the 
human race, we have no alternative but to adn^it such divergences 
conseqiient on such causes ; and even if we do not assume this 
original unity, we have still, among the races classed by the com- 
munity of their languages as Aryan, abundant proofs that suli- 
jection to different modes of life, produces in course of ages per- 
manent bodily and mental differences. So, too, between the dark 
Jews of the East, and the fair Jews of Grermany, or between them 
both and their Semitic congeners, there are contrasts ascribable 
to nothing but the continuous effects of circumstances, material, 
moral, social, on the activities and therefore on the constitution. 
So that, as above said, it might have been expected that biological 
training would scarcely be needed to impress men with these large 
facts, all-important as elements in sociological conchasions. 

As it is, however, we see that a deliberate study of Biology 
cannot be dispensed with. It is requisite that these scattered 
evidences which but few citizens put together and think about, 
should be set before them in an orderly way ; and that they should 
recognize in them the universal truths which living things 
exhibit. There requires a multiplicity of illustrations, various 
in their kinds, often repeated and dwelt upon. Only thus can 
there be produced an adequately-strong conviction that all 
organic beings are modifiable, that modifications are inheritable, 
and that therefore the remote issues of any new influence brought 
to bear on the members of a community must be serious. 

To give a more definite and effective shape to this general in- 


ference, let me here comment on certain courses pnrsned by 
philantliropists and legislators eager for immediate good results, 
but pursued without regard to biological truths which, if borne 
in mind, would make them hesitate if not desist. 

Every species of creature goes on multiplying till it reaches the 
limit at which its mortality from all causes balances its fertility. 
Diminish its mortality by removing or mitigating any one of 
these causes, and inevitably its numbers increase until mortality 
and fertility are again in equilibrium. However many injurious 
influences are taken away, the same thing holds ; for the reason 
that the remaining injurious influences grow more intense. 
Either the pressm'e on the means of subsistence becomes greater ; 
or some enemy of the species, multiplying in proportion to the 
abundance of its prey, becomes more destructive ; or some disease, 
encouraged by greater proximity, becomes more prevalent. This 
general truth, everywhere exemplified among inferior races of 
beings, holds of the human race. True, it is in this case variously 
traversed and obscured. By emigration, the limits against which 
population continually presses are partially evaded ; by improve- 
ments in production, they are continually removed further away ; 
and along with increase of knowledge there comes an avoidance 
of detrimental agencies. Still, these are but qualifications of an 
inevitable action and reaction. 

Let us here glance at the relation between this general truth 
and the legislative measures adopted to ward off certain causes of 
death. Every individual eventually dies from inability to with- 
stand some environing action. It laay be a mechanical force that 
cannot be resisted by the strengths of his bodily structures ; 
it may be a deleterious gas which, absorbed into his blood, 
so deranges the processes throughout his body as finally to 
overthrow their balance ; or it may be an absorption of his 
bodily heat by surrounding things, that is too great for his 
enfeebled functions to meet. In all cases, however, it is one, 
[or some, of the many forces to which he is exposed, and in 

z 2 


presence of wliich his vital activities liave to be carried on. He 
may succumb early or late, according to the goodness of his 
structure and the incidents of his career. But in the natural 
working of things, those having imperfect structures succumb 
before they have offspring : leaving those with fitter structures 
to produce the next generation. And obviously, the working of 
this process is such that as many will continue to live and to re- 
produce as can do so under the conditions then existing : if the 
assemblage of influences becomes more difiicult to Avithstand, a 
larger number of the feebler disappear early ; if the assemblage 
of influences is made more favourable by the removal of, or 
mitigation of, some unfavourable influence, there is an increase 
in the number of the feebler who survive and leave posterity. 
Hence two proximate results, conspiring to the same ultimate 
result. First, population increases at a greater rate than it would 
otherwise have done : so subjecting all persons to certain other 
destroying agencies in more-intense forms. Second, by inter- 
marriage of the feebler who now survive, with the stronger who 
would otherwise have alone survived, the general constitution is 
brought down to the level of strength required to meet these 
more-favourable conditions. That is to say, there by-and-by 
arises a state of things under which a general decrease in the 
power of withstanding this mitigated destroying cause, and a 
general increase in the activity of other destroying causes, con- 
sequent on greater numbers, bring mortality and fertility into the 
same relation as before — there is a somewhat larger number of a 
somewhat weaker race. 

There are further ways in which this process necessarily works 
a like general effect, however far it is carried. For as fast as 
more and more detrimental agencies are removed or mitigated, 
and as fast as there goes on an increasing survival and propaga- 
tion of those having delicately-balanced constitutions, there arise 
new destructive agencies. Let the average vitality be diminished 
by more effectually guarding the weak against adverse conditions, 
and incvitahly there come fresh diseases. A general constitution 


previously able to bear without derangement certain variations 
in atmospb.ei'ic conditions and certain degrees of other unfavour- 
able actions, if lowered in tone, will become subject to new kinds 
of perturbation and new causes of death. In illustration, I need 
but refer to the many diseases from which civihzed races suffer, 
but which were not known to the unciviHzed. ISTor is it only by 
such new causes of death that the rate of mortality, when de- 
creased in one direction increases in another. The very precau- 
tions against death are theiuselves in some measure new causes 
of death. Every further apphance for meeting an evil, every 
additional expenditure of effort, every extra tax to meet the cost 
of supervision, becomes a fresh obstacle to living. For always 
in a society where population is pressing on the means of sub- 
sistence, and where the efforts required to fulfil vital needs are 
so great that they here and there cause premature death, the 
powfers of producers cannot be further strained by calling on 
them to support a new class of non-producers, without, in some 
cases, increasing the wear and tear to a fatal extent. And in 
proportion as this policy is carried f ui'ther — in proportion as the 
enfecblement of constitution is made greater, the required pre - 
cautions multiplied, and the cost of maintaining these precautions 
augmented; it must happen that the increasing physiological 
expenditure thrown on these enfeebled constitutions, must make 
them succumb so much the earlier : the mortality evaded in one 
shape must come round in another. 

The clearest conception of the state brought about, will be 
gained by supposing the society thus produced to consist of old 
people. Age differs from maturity and youth in l^eing less able 
to withstand infl.uences that tend to derange the functions, as 
well as less able to bear the efforts needed to get the food, cloth- 
ing, and shelter, by which resistance to these influences may be 
iarried on ; and where no aid is received from the younger, this 
iecreased strength and increased liability to derangement by 
Incident forces, make the life of age difficult and wearisome. 
Those who, though young, have weak constitutions, are much in 


the same position : their liabilities to derangement are similarly 
multiplied, and where they have to support themselves, they are 
similarly over- taxed by the effort, relatively great to them and 
made greater by the maintaining of precautions. A society of 
enfeebled jieople, then, must lead a life like that led by a society 
of people who had outlived the vigour of maturity, and yet had 
none to help them ; and their life must also be like in lacking 
that overfio-wing energy which, while it makes labours easy, 
makes enjoyments keen. In proportion as vigour declines, not 
only do the causes of pain multiply, Avhile the tax on the energies 
becomes more trying, but the possibilities of pleasure decrease : 
many delights demanding, or accompanying, exertion are shut 
out ; and others fail to raise the flagging spirits. So that, to sum 
up, lowering the average type of constitution to a level of strength 
belotv that tvhicli meets ivitliout difficulty the ordinary strains and per- 
turbations and dangerSj-whileit fails eventually to diminish the rate 
of mortality, makes life more a burden and less a gratification. 

I am aware that this reasoning may be met by the criticism 
that, carried out rigorously, it would negative social ameliorations 
in general. Some, perhaps, will say that even those measures by 
which order is maintained, might be opposed on the ground that 
there results from them a kind of men less capable of self -protec- 
tion than would otherwise exist. An.d there will doubtless bo 
suggested the corollary that no influences detrimental to health 
ought to be removed. I am not concerned to meet such criti- 
cisms, because I do not mean the conclusions above indicattl 
to be taken without qualification. Manifestly, up to a certn::-. 
point, the removal of destructive causes leaves a balaniv^ 
of benefit. The simple fact that with a largely-augmentnl 
population, longevity is greater now than heretofore, goes far 
towards showing that up to the time lived through by those who 
die in our day, there had been a decrease of the causes of 
mortality in some directions, greater than their increase in other 
directions. Though a considerable draAvback may be suspected 
— though, on observing how few thoroughly- strong people we 



meet, and how prevalent are clironic ailments notwithstanding 
the care taken of health, it m.ay be inferred that bodily life now 
is lower in qnahty than it was, though greater in quantity ; yet 
there has probably been gained a surplus of advantage. All I 
wish to show is, that there are limits to the good gained by such 
a policy. It is supposed in the Legislature, and by the public at 
large, that if, by measures taken, a certain number of deaths by 
disease have been prevented, so much pure benefit has been 
secured. But it is not so. In any case, there is a set-off from 
the benefit ; and if such measures are greatly multiplied, the 
deductions may eat up the benefit entirely, and leave an injury 
in its place. Where such measures ought to stop, is a question 
that may be left open. Here my purpose is simply to point out 
the way in which a far-reaching biological truth underlies rational 
conclusions in Sociology ; and also to point out that formidable 
evils may arise from ignoring it. 

Other evils, no less serious, are entailed by legislative actions 
and by actions of individuals, single and combined, which over- 
look or disregard a kindred biological truth. Besides an habitual 
neglect of the fact that the quality of a society is physically 
lowered by the artificial preservation of its feeblest members, there 
is an habitual neglect of the fact that the quality of a society is 
lowered morally and intellectually, by the artificial preservation 
of those who are least able to take care of themselves. 

If anyone denies that children bear likenesses to their progeni- 
tors in character and capacity — if he holds that men whose 
parents and grandparents were habitual criminals, have 
tendencies as good as those of men whose parents and grand- 
parents were industrious and upright, he may consistently hold 
that it matters not from what families in a society the successive 
generations descend. He may think it just as well if the most 
nctive, and capable, and prudent, and conscientious people die 
without issue ; while many children are left by the reckless and 
dishonest. But whoever does not espouse so insane a proposition, 


must admit that social arrangements wliich retard the mnltipli- 
cation of the mentally-best, and faciKtate the multiplication of 
the mentallj-worst, must be extremely injurious. 

For if the unworthy are helped to increase, by shielding them 
from that mortality which their unworthiness would natui-ally 
entail, the effect is to produce, generation after generation, a 
greater unworthiness. From diminished use of self-conserving 
faculties ah'eady deficient, there must result, in posterity, still 
smaller amounts of self-conserving faculties. The general law 
which we traced above in its bodily applications, may be traced 
here in its mental applications. Removal of certain difficulties, 
and dangers which have to be met by intelligence and activity, 
is followed by a decreased ability to meet difficulties and dangers. 
Among children born to the more capable who marry with the 
less capable, thus artificially preserved, there is not simply a 
lower average power of self-preservation than would else have 
existed, but the incapacity reaches in some cases a greater 
extreme. Smaller difficulties and dangers become fatal in 
proportion as greater ones are warded off. l^or is this the whole 
mischief. For such members of a population as do not take care 
of themselves, but are taken care of by the rest, inevitably bring 
on the rest extra exertion ; either in supplying them with the 
necessaries of life, or in maintaining over them the required 
supervision, or in both. That is to say, in addition to self-con- 
servation and the conservation of their own offspring, the best, 
having to undertake the conservation of the worst, and of their 
offspring, are subject to an overdi'aw upon their energies. In 
some cases this stops them from mari'ying ; m other cases it 
diminishes the numbers of their children ; in other cases it causes 
inadequate feeding of their children ; in other cases it brings 
their children to orphanhood — in every way tending to arrest the 
increase of the best, to deteriorate their constitutions, and to pull 
them down towards the level of the worst. 

Fostering the good-for-nothing at the expense of the good, is 
an extreme cruelty. It is a deliberate storing-up of miseries for 


future generations. There is no greater curse to posterity than 
that of bequeathing them an increasing population of imbeciles 
and idlers and criminals. To aid the bad in multiplying, is, in 
effect, the same as maliciously providing for our descendants a 
multitude of enemies. It may be doubted whether the maudlin 
philanthropy which, looking only at direct mitigations, per- 
sistently ignores indirect mischiefs, does not inflict a greater total 
of misery than the extremest selfishness inflicts. Refusing to 
consider the remote influences of his incontinent generosity, the 
thoughtless giver stands but a degree above the di-unkard who 
thinks only of to-day's pleasure and ignores to-morrow's pain, 
or the spendthrift who seeks immediate delights at the cost of 
ultimate poverty. In one respect, indeed, he is worse ; since, 
while getting the present pleasure produced in giving pleasure, 
he leaves the future miseries to be borne by others — escaping 
them himself. And calling for still stronger reprobation is that 
scattering of money prompted by misinterpretation of the saying* 
that " charity covers a multitude of sins." For in the many 
whom this misinterpretation leads to believe that by large 
donations they can compound for evil deeds, we may trace an 
element of positive baseness — an effort to get a good place in 
another world, no ruatter at what injury to fellow- creatures. 

How far the mentally- superior may, with a balance of benefit 
to society, shield the mentally-inferior from the evil results of 
their inferiority, is a question too involved to be here discussed 
at length. Doubtless it is in the order of things that parental 
affection, the regard of relatives, and the spontaneous sympathy 
of friends and even of strangers, should mitigate the pains which 
incapacity has to bear, and the penalties which unfit impulses 
bring round. Doubtless, in many cases the reactive influence of 
this sympathetic care which the better take of the worse, is 
morally beneficial, and in a degree compensates by good in one 
direction for evil ia another. It may be fully admitted that 
individual altruism, left to itself, will Avork advantageously — 
wherever, at least, it does not go to the extent of helj^iug the 


iinwortliy to multiply. But an unquestionable injury is done 
by agencies ^vllich undertake in a wholesale way to foster 
good-for-notliings : putting a stop to that natural process of 
elimination by which society continually purifies itself. For 
not only by such agencies is this preservation of the worst 
and destruction of the best carried fui-ther than it would else be, 
but there is scarcely any of that compensating advantage which 
individual altruism implies. A mechanically-working State- 
apparatus, distributing money dra-\vn from gr ambling ratepayers, 
produces little or no moralizing effect on the capables to make 
up for multiplication of the incapables. Here, however, it is 
needless to dwell on the perplexing questions hence arising. My 
purpose is simply to show that a rational policy must recognize 
certain general truths of Biology ; and to insist that only when 
study of these general truths, as illustrated throughout the living 
Avorld, has woven them into the conceptions of things, is there 
gained a strong conviction that disregard of them must cause 
enormous mischiefs.^ 

Biological truths and their corollaries, presented under these 
special forms as bases for sociological conclusions, are intro- 
ductory to a more general biological truth including them — a 
general biological truth which underlies all rational legislation. 
I refer to the truth that every species of organism, including the 
human, is always adapting itself, both directly and indirectly, to 
its conditions of existence. 

The actions which have produced every variety of man, — the 
actions which have established in the Negro and the Hindu, con- 
stitutions that thrive in climates fatal to Europeans, and in the 
Fuegian a constitution enabling him to bear without clothing an 
inclemency almost too great for other races well clothed — the 
actions which have developed in the Tartar-races nomadic habits 
that are almost insurmountable, while they have given to North 
American Indians desires and aptitudes which, fitting them for a 
hunting life, make a civilized life intolerable — the actions doinjr 


this, are also ever at work moulding citizens into correspondence 
with their circumstances. While the bodily natures of citizens 
are being fitted to the physical influences and industrial activities 
of their locality, their mental natures are being fitted to the 
structure of the society they live in. Though, as we have seen, 
there is always an approximate fitness of the social unit to its 
social aggregate, yet the fitness can never be more than approxi- 
mate, and re-adjustment is always going on. Could a society 
remain unchanged, something like a permanent equilibrium 
between the nature of the individual and the nature of the society 
would presently be reached. But the type of each society is con- 
tinually being modified by two causes — by growth, and by the 
actions, warlike or other, of adjacent societies. Increase in the 
bulk of a society inevitably leads to change of structiire ; as also 
does any alteration in the ratio of the predatory to the industrial 
activities. Hence continual social metamorphosis, involving con- 
tinual alteration of the conditions under which the citizen lives, 
produces in him an adaptation of character which, tending 
towards completeness, is ever made incomplete by fui-ther social 
metamorphos is . 

While, however, each society, and each successive phase of each 
society, presents conditions more or less special, to which the 
natui'es of citizens adapt themselves ; there are certain general 
conditions which, in every society, must be fulfilled to a con- 
siderable extent before it can hold together, and which must be 
fulfilled completely before social life can be comiDlete. Each 
citizen has to carry on his activities in such ways as not to impede 
other citizens in the carrying-on of their activities more than he 
is impeded by them. That any citizen may so behave as not to 
deduct from the aggregate welfare, it is needful that he shall per- 
form such function, or share of function, as is of value equivalent 
at least to what he consumes ; and it is further needful that, both 
in discharging his function and in pursumg his pleasure, he shall 
leave others similarly free to discharge their functions and to 
pursue their pleasui'es. Obviously a society formed of units who 


cannot live witliout mutual liiudi-ance, is one in wliich tlie happi- 
ness is of smaller amount than it is in a society formed of units 
who can live without mutual hindrance — numbers and physical 
conditions being supposed equal. And obviously the sum of 
happiness in such a society is still less than that in a society of 
which the units voluntarily aid one another. 

N'ow, under one of its chief aspects, civilization is a process of 
developing in citizens a nature capable of fulfilling these all- 
essential conditions ; and, neglecting their superfluities, laws and 
the appliances for enforcing them, are expressions and embodi- 
ments of these all-essential conditions. On the one hand, those 
severe systems of slavery, and serfdom, and punishment for vaga- 
bondage, which characterized the less-developed social types, 
stand for the necessity that the social unit shall be self-supporting. 
On the other hand, the punislmients for murder, assault, theft, 
etc., and the penalties on breach of contract, stand for the neces- 
sity that, in the coui'se of the activities by which he supports 
himself, the citizen shall neither directly injure other citizens, 
nor shall injure them indirectly, by taking or intercepting the 
returns their activities bring. And it needs no detail to show 
that a fundamental trait in social progress, is an increase of in- 
dustrial energy, leading citizens to support themselves Avithout 
being coerced in the harsh ways once general ; that another 
fundamental trait is the gradual establishment of such a nature 
in citizens that, while pursuing their respective ends, they injure 
and impede one another in smaller degrees ; and that a con- 
comitant trait is the growth of governmental restraints which 
more effectually check the remaining aggressiveness. That is to 
say, while the course of civilization shows us a clearer recognition 
and better enforcement of these essential conditions, it also shows 
us a moulding of humanity into correspondence with them. 

Along with the proofs thus furnished that the biological law of 
adaptation, holding of all other species, holds of the human 
species, and that the change of nature undergone by the human 
species since societies began to develop, has been an adaptation 


of it to the conditions ionplied by harmonious social life, we 
receive the lesson, that the one thing needful is a rigorous main- 
tenance of these conditions. While all see that the immediate 
function of our chief social institutions is the securing of an 
orderly social life by making these conditions imperative, very 
few see that their further function, and in one sense more im- 
portant function, is that of fitting men to fulfil these conditions 
spontaneously. The two functions are inseparable. From the bio- 
log'ical laws we have been contemplating, it is, on the one hand, 
an inevitable corollary that if these conditions are maintained, 
human nature will slowly adapt itself to them ; while, on the 
other hand, it is an inevitable corollary that by no other discipline 
than subjection to these conditions, can fitness to the social state be 
produced. Enforce these conditions, and adaptation to them will 
continue. Relax these conditions, and by so much there will be 
a cessation of the adaptive changes. Abolish these conditions, 
and, after the consequent social dissolution, there will commence 
(unless they are re-established) an adaptation to the conditions! 
then resulting — those of savage life. These are conclusions from 
which there is no escape^ if Man is subject to the laws of life in 
common with living things in general. 

It may, indeed, be rightly contended that if those who are but 
little fitted to the social state are rigorously subjected to these 
conditions, evil will result : intolerfible restraint, if it does not 
deform or destroy life, will be followed by violent reaction. We 
are taught by analogy, that greatly-changed circumstances from 
which there is no escape, fail to produce adaptation because they 
produce death. Men having constitutions fitted for one climate, 
cannot be fitted to an extremely-different climate by persistently 
living in it, because they do not survive, generation after genera- 
tion. Such changes can be brought about only by slow spread- 
ings of the race through intermediate regions having intermediate 
climates, to which successive generations are accustomed little bv 
little. And doubtless the like holds mentally. The intellectual 
and emotional natures required for high civilization, are not to be 


obtained by tlirusting on the completely-uncivilized, the needful 
activities and rcstr-aints in unqualified forms : gradual decay and 
death, rather than adaptation, would result. But so long as a 
society's institutions are indigenous, no danger is to be appre- 
hended from a too-strict maintenance of the conditions to the 
ideally-best social life ; since there can exist neither the required 
appreciation of them nor the required appliances for enforcing 
them. Only in those abnormal cases where a race of one type is 
subject to a race of much-superior type, is this qualification per- 
tinent. In our own case, as in the cases of all societies having 
populations approximately homogeneous in character, and having 
institutions evolved by that character, there may rightly be aimed 
at the greatest rigour possible. The merciful pohcy, no less than 
the just policy, is that of insisting that these all-essential require- 
ments of self-support and non-aggression, shall be conformed to 

the just pohcy, because failing to insist is failing to protect 

the better or more-adapted natures against the worse or less- 
adapted ; the merciful policy, because the pains accompanying 
the process of adaptation to the social state must be gone through, 
and it is better that they should be gone through once than gone 
throuo-h twice, as they have to be -when any relaxation of these 
conditions permits retrogression. 

Thus, that which sundry precepts of the current religion 
embody — that which ethical systems, intuitive or utilitarian, 
equally urge, is also that which Biology, generalizing the laws of 
life at large, dictates. All further requii'cments are unimportant 
compared with this primary requirement, that each shall so live 
as neither to burden others nor to injure others. And all further 
appliances for influencing the actions and natures of men, are 
unimportant compared with those serving to maintain and 
increase the conformity to this primary requirement. But un- 
happily, legislators and philanthropists, busy with schemes which, 
instead of aiding adaptation, indirectly hinder it, give little 
Attention to the enforcing and improving of those arrangements 
by which adaptation is effected. 


And here, on belialf of the few who uphold this poKcy of 
natural discipline, let me emphatically repudiate the name of 
laissez-faire as applied to it, and emphatically condemn the 
counter-policy as involving a laissez-faire of the most vicious 
kind. While holding that, when the State leaves each citizen to 
get what good for himself he can, and to snfBer what evil he 
brings on himself, such a let-alone policy is eventually beneficial ; 
I contend that, when the State leaves him to bear the evils 
inflicted by other citizens, and can be induced to defend him only 
iit a ruinous cost, such a let-alone policy is both immediately and 
remotely injurious. "When a Legislature takes from the worthy 
the things they have laboured for, that it may give to the 
unworthy the things they have not earned — when cause and 
consequence, joined in the order of Nature, are thus divorced by 
law-makers ; then may properly come the suggestion — " Cease 
your interference." But when, in any way, direct or indirect, 
the unworthy deprive the worthy of their dues, or impede them 
in the quiet pursuit of their ends, then may properly come the 
demand — " Interfere promptly ; and be, in fact, the protectors 
you are in name." Our politicians and philanthropists, impa- 
tient with a salutary laissez-faire, tolerate and even defend a 
laissez-faire that is in the highest degree mischievous. With- 
out hesitation, this regulative agency we call the Government 
takes from us some £100,000 a year to pay for Art-teaching 
and to establish Art-museums ; while, in guarding us against 
robbers and murderers, it makes convictions difficult by demurr- 
ing to the cost of necessary evidence : even the outlay for a plan, 
admitted by the taxing-master, being refused by the Treasury ! 
Is not that a disastrous laissez-faire ? While millions are voted 
without a murmur for an expedition to rescue a meddling consul 
from a half -savage king, our Executive resists the spending of a 
few extra thousands to pay more jud 3;es : the result being not 
simply vast arrears and long delays, but immense injustices of 
other kinds, — costs being run up m cases which lawyers know 
will never be heard, and which, when brought into court, the 


over-burdened judges get rid of by appointing junior counsel as 
referees : an arrangement under wbicli the suitors have not 
simply to pay over again all their agents, at extra rates, but have 
also to pay their judges." Is not that, too, a flagitious laissez- 
faire ? Though, in our solicitude for Negroes, we have been 
spending £50,000 a year to stop the East- African slave-trade, 
and failing to do it, yet only now are we providing protection for 
our own sailors against unscrupulous shipowners — only now 
have sailors, betrayed into bad ships, got something more than 
the option of risking death by drowning or going to prison for 
breach of contract ! Shall we not call that, also, a laissez-faire 
that is almost wicked in its indifference ? At the same time that 
the imperativeness of teaching all children to "OTite, and to spell, 
and to parse, and to know where Timbuctoo lies, is being agreed 
to with acclamation, and vast sums raised that these urgent 
needs may be met, it is not thought needful that citizens should 
be enabled to learn the laws they have to obey ; and though 
these laws are so many commands which, on any witional theory, 
the Government issuing them ought to enforce, yet in a great 
mass of cases it does nothing when told that they have been 
broken, but leaves the injured to try and enforce them at thek 
own risk, if they please. Is not that, again, a demoralizing 
laissez-faire — an encouragement to wrong-doing by a half- promise 
of impunity ? Once more, what shall we say of the laissez-faire 
which cries out because the civil administration of justice cosis 
us £800,000 a year — because to protect men's rights we annually 
spend half as much again as would build an ironclad ! — because 
to prevent fraud and enforce contracts we lay out each year 
nearly as much as our largest distiller pays in spirit-duty ! — 
what, I ask, shall we say of the laissez-faire which thus thinks 
it an extravagance that one-hundredth part of our national 
revenue should go in maintaining the vital condition to national 
well-being ? Is not that a laissez-faire which we might bo 
tempted to call insane, did not most sane people agree in it ? 
And thus it is throughout. The policy of quiescence is adopted 


wliere active interference is all-essential ; while time, and energy, 
and money, are absorbed in interfering with things that should 
be left to themselves. Those who condemn the let-alone policy 
in respect to matters which, to say the least, are not of vital 
importance, advocate or tolerate the let-alone policy in respect to 
vitally-important matters. Contemplated from the biological 
point of view, their course is doubly mischievous. They impede 
adaptation of human nature to the social state, both by what 
they do and by what they leave undone. 

[N'either the limits of this chapter, nor its purpose, permit ex- 
position of the various other truths which Biology yields as data 
for Sociology. Enough has been said in proof of that which was 
to be shown — the use of biological study as a preparation for 
gTasping sociological truths. 

The effect to be looked for from it, is that of giving strength 
and clearness to convictions otherwise feeble and vague. Sundry 
of the doctrines I have presented under their biological aspects, 
are doctrines admitted in considerable degrees. Such acquaint- 
ance with the laws of life as they have gathered incidentally, 
lead many to suspect that appliances for preserving the physi- 
cally-feeble, bring results that are not wholly good. Others 
there are who occasionally get glimpses of evils caused by foster- 
ing the reckless and the stupid. But their suspicions and qualms 
fail to determine their conduct, because the inevitableness of the 
bad consequences has not been made adequately clear by the 
study of Biology at large. When countless illustrations have 
shown them that all strength, all faculty, all fitness, presented 
by every living thing, has arisen partly by a growth of each 
power consequent on exercise of it, and partly by the more 
frequent survival and greater multiplication of the better- 
endowed individuals, entailing gradual disappearance of the 
worse-endowed — when it is seen that all perfection, bodily and 
mental, has been achieved through this process, and that sus- 
pension of it must cause cessation of progress, while reversal of 

A A 


it would bring universal decay — when it is seen that the mis- 
chiefs entailed by disregard of these truths, though they may 
be slow, are certain ; thei'e comes a conviction that social 
policy must be conformed to them, and that to ignore them is 

Did not experience prepare one to find everywhere a degree of 
irrationality remarkable in beings who distinguish themselves as 
rational, one might have assumed that, before devising modes of 
dealing vnth citizens in their corporate relations, special attention 
would be given to the natures of these citizens individually con- 
sidered, and by implication to the natures of living things at 
large. Put a carpenter into a blacksmith's shop, and set him to 
forge, to weld, to harden, to anneal, etc., and he will not need the 
])lacksmith's jeers to show him how foolish is the attempt to 
make and mend tools before he has learnt the properties of iron. 
Let the carpenter challenge the blacksmith, who knows little 
about wood in general and nothing about particular kinds of 
wood, to do his woi'k, and unless the blacksmith declines to 
make himself a laughing-stock, he is pretty certain to saw askew, 
to choke up his plane, and presently to break his tools or cut his 
fingers. But while everyone sees the folly of supposing that 
wood or iron can be shaped and fitted, without an apprentice- 
ship during which their ways of behaving are made familiar ; no 
one sees any folly in undertaking to devise institutions, and to 
shape human nature in this way or that way, without a prelimi- 
nary study of ]\Ian, and of Life in general as explaining Man's 
life. For simple functions we insist on elaborate special prepa- 
rations extending through years ; while for the most complex 
function, to be adeqiiately discharged not even by the wisest, we 
require no preparation ! 

How absurd are the prevailing conceptions about these 
matters, we shall see still more clearly ou turning to consider 
that naore special discipline which should precede the study of 
Sociology ; namely, the study of Mental Science. 



Probably astonishment would make the reporters drop theu^ 
pencils, were any member of Parliament to enunciate a psycho- 
logical principle as justifying his opposition to a proposed 
measure. That some law of association of ideas, or some trait 
in emotional development, should be deliberately set forth as a 
sufficient ground for saying " aye " or "no " to a motion for second 
reading, would doubtless be too much for the gravity of legis- 
lators. And along with laughter from many there would come 
from a few cries of " question : " the entire irrelevancy to the 
matter in hand being conspicuons. It is true that during 
debates the possible behaviour of citizens under the suggested 
arrangements is described. Evasions of this or that provision, 
difficulties in carrying it out, probabilities of resistance, con- 
nivance, corruption, &c., are urged ; and these tacitly assert that 
the mind of man has certain characters, and under the conditions 
named is likely to act in certain ways. In other words, there is 
an implied recognition of the truth that the effects of a law will 
depend on the manner in which human intelligence and human 
feeling are influenced by it. Experiences of men's conduct which 
the- legislator has gathered, and which lie partially sorted in his 
memory, furnish him with empirical notions that guide his 
judgment on each question raised ; and he would think it folly 
to ignore all this unsystematized knowledge about people's cha- 
racters and actions. But at the same time he regards as foolish 

A A 2 


the proposal to proceed, not on vaguely-generalized facts, but 
on facts accurately generalized ; and, as still more foolish, the 
proposal to merge these minor definite generalizations in generali- 
zations expressing the ultimate laws of Mind. Guidance by 
intuition seems to him much more rational. 

Of course, I do not mean to say that his intuition is of small 
value. How should I say this, remembering the immense accu- 
mulation of experiences by which his thoughts have been moulded 
into harmony with things ? We all know that when the suc- 
cessful man of business is urged by wife and daughters to get 
into Parliament, that they may attain a higher social standing, he 
always replies that his occupations through life have left him no 
leisure to prepare himself, by collecting and digesting the 
voluminous evidence respecting the effects of institutions and 
policies, and that he fears he might do mischief. If the heir to 
some large estate, or scion of a noble house powerful in the 
locality, receives a deputation asking him to stand for the 
county, we constantly read that he pleads inadequate knowledge 
as a reason for declining : perhaps hinting that after ten years 
spent in. the needful studies, he may have courage to undertake 
the heavy responsibilities proposed to him. So, too, we have the 
familiar fact that when, at length, men who have gathered vast 
stores of pohtical information, gain the confidence of voters who 
know how carefully they have thus fitted themselves, it still per- 
petually happens that after election they find they have entered 
on their work prematurely. It is true that beforehand they had 
sought anxiously through the records of the past, that they 
might avoid legislative errors of multitudinous kinds, like those 
committed in early times. Nevertheless when Acts are proposed 
referring to matters dealt with in past generations by Acts long 
since cancelled or obsolete, immense inquiries open before them. 
Even limiting themselves to the 1126 Acts repealed in 1823 — 9, 
and the further 770 repealed in 1861, they find that to learn what 
these aimed at, how they worked, why they failed, and whence 
arose the mischiefs they wrought, is an arduous task, which yet 


tliej feel bound to undertake lest they slionld re-inflict tliese mis- 
chiefs ; and hence the reason why so many break down under the 
effort, and retire with health destroyed, l^ay, more — on those with 
constitutions vigorous enough to carry them through such in- 
quiries, there continually presses the duty of making yet further 
inquii'ies. Besides tracing the results of abandoned laws in other 
societies, there is at home, year by year, more futile law-making to 
be investigated and lessons to be drawn from it ; as, for example, 
from the 134 Public Acts passed in 1856 — 7, of which all but 68 
are wholly or partially repealed.^ And thus it happens that, as 
every autumn shows us, even the strongest men, finding their 
lives during the recess over-taxed with the needful study, arc 
obliged so to locate themselves that by an occasional day's hard 
riding after the hounds, or a long walk over the moors with gun 
in hand, they may be enabled to bear the excessive strain on their 
nervous systems. Of course, therefore, I am not so unreasonable 
as to deny that judgments, even empirical, which are guided by 
such carefully-amassed experiences must be of much worth. 

But fully recognizing the vast amount of information which 
the legislator has laboriously gathered from the accounts of insti- 
tutions and laws, past and present, here and elsewhere ; and 
admitting that before thus instructing himself he would no more 
think of enforcing a new law than would a medical student 
think of plunging an operating-knife into the human body befoi^e 
learning where the arteries ran ; tlie remarkable anomaly here 
demanding our attention is, that he objects to anything like 
analysis of these phenomena he has so diligently collected, 
and has no faith in conclusions drawn from the ensemhle of them. 
Kot discriminating very correctly between the word' "general" 
and the word " abstract," and regarding as abstract principles 
what are in nearly all cases general principles, he speaks 
contemptuously of 'these as belonging to the region of theory, 
and as not concerning the law-maker. Any wide truth that is 
insisted upon as being implied in many narrow truths, seems to 
him remote from reality and unimportant for guidance. The 


results of recent experiments in legislation be tliinks •worth 
attending to ; and if any one reminds him of the experiments 
lie has read so much about, that were made in other times and 
other places, he regards these also, separately taken, as deserving 
of consideration. But if, instead of studying special classes of 
legislative experiments, someone compares many classes together, 
generalizes the results, and proposes to be guided by the gene- 
ralization, he shakes his head sceptically. And his scepticism 
jiasses into ridicule if it is proposdd to affiliate such generalized 
results on the laws of Mind. To prescribe for society on 
the strength of countless unclassified observations, appears to 
him a sensible course ; but to colligate and systematize the 
observations so as to educe tendencies of human behaviour dis- 
played throughout cases of numerous kinds, to trace these ten- 
dencies to their sources in the naental natures of men, and thence 
to draw conclusions for guidance, appears to him a visionary 

Let us look at some of the fundamental facts he ignores, and 
at the results of ignoring them. 

Rational legislation, based as it can only be on a true theory of 
conduct, which is derivable only from a true theory of mind, 
must recognize as a datum the direct connexion of action with 
feeling. That feeling and action bear a constant ratio, is a 
statement needing qualification ; for at the one extreme there 
are automatic actions which take place without feeling, and at 
the other extreme there are feehngs so intense that, by de- 
ranging the vital functions, they impede or arrest action. But 
speaking of those activities which life in general presents, 
it is a law tacitly recognized by all, though not distinctly 
formulated, that action and feeling vary together in their 
amounts. Passivity and absence of facial ^qjression, both im- 
plying rest of the muscles, are held to show that there is being 
experienced neither much sensation nor much emotion. A^^.lilethe 
degree of external demonstration, be it in movements that rise 


finally to spasms and contortions, or be it in sounds that end 
in langMer and shrieks and groans, is habitually accepted as 
a measure of the pleasure or pain, sensational or emotional. 
And so, too, where continued expenditure of energy is seen, be 
it in a violent struggle to escape or be it in the persevering pur- 
suit of an object, the quantity of effort is held to show the 
quantity of feeling. 

This truth, undeniable in its generahty, whatever qualifica- 
tions secondary truths make in it, must be joined with the truth 
that cognition does not produce action. If I tread on a pin, or 
unawares dip my hand into very hot water, I start : the strong 
sensation produces motion without any thought intervening. 
Conversely, the proposition that a pin pricks, or that hot water 
scalds, leaves me quite unmoved. True, if to one of these pro- 
positions is joined the idea that a pin is about to pierce my skin, 
or to the other the idea that some hot water will fall on it, there 
results a tendency, more or less decided, to shrink. But that 
which causes shrinking is the ideal pain. The statement that 
the pin will hurt or the water scald, produces no effect so long 
as there is nothing beyond a recognition of its meaning : it pro- 
duces an effect only when the pain verbally asserted, becomes a 
pain actually conceived as impending — only when there rises in 
consciousness a representation of the pain, which is a faint form of 
the pain as before felt. That is to say, the cause of movement here, 
as in other cases, is a feeling and not a cognition. What 

we see even in these simplest actions, runs through actions of all 
degi'ees of complexity. It is never the knowledge which is the 
moving agent in conduct ; but it is always the feeling which goes 
along with that knowledge, or is excited by it. Though the 
drunkard taows that after to-day's debauch will come to-mor- 
row's headache, jet he is not deterred by consciousness of 
this truth, unless the penalty is distinctly represented — unless 
there rises in his consciousness a vivid idea of the misery to 
be borne — ^unless there is excited in him an adequate amount of 
feeling antagonistic to his desire for drink. Similarly with im- 


providence in general. If coming evils arc imagined with clear- 
ness and the threatened snJffcrings ideally felt, there is a due 
check on the tendency to take immediate gratifications without 
stiat; but in the absence of that consciousness of future ills 
which is constituted by the ideas of pains, distinct or vague, 
the passing desire is not opposed effectually. The truth that 
recklessness brings distress, fully acknowledged* though it may 
be, remains inoperative. The mere cognition does not affect 
conduct — -conduct is affected only when the cognition passes out 
of that intellectual form in which the idea of distress is little more 
than verbal, into a form in which this term of the proposition is 
developed into a vivid imagination of distress — a mass of painful 
feeling. It is thus with conduct of every kind. See this 

group of persons clustered at the river side. A boat has upset, 
and some one is in danger of drowning. The fact that in the 
absence of aid the youth in the water will shortly die, is known 
to them all. That by swimming to his assistance his life may 
be saved, is a proposition denied by none of them. The duty 
of helping fellow-creatures who are in difficulties, they have 
been taught all their lives ; and they will severally admit that 
running a risk to prevent a death is praiseworthy. Nevertheless, 
though sundry of them can swim, they do nothing beyond shout- 
ing for assistance or giving advice. But now here comes one 
who, tearing off his coat, plunges in to the rescue. In what does 
he differ from the others ? Not in knowledge. Their cognitions 
are equally clear with his. They know as well as he does that 
death is impending ; and know, too, how it may be prevented. In 
him, however, these cognitions arouse certain correlative emo- 
tions more strongly than they are aroused in the rest. Groups 
of feelings are excited in all ; but whereas in the others the 
deterrent feelings of fear, &c., preponderate^jin him there is a 
surplus of the feelings excited by sympathy, joined, it may b( . 
with others not of so high a kind. In each case, however, the 
behaviour is not determined by knowledge, but by emotion. 
Obviously, change iu the actions of these passive spectators is 


net to be effected hj making their cognitions clearer, but by 
making their higher feelings stronger. 

Have we not here, then, a cardinal psychological trnth to 
which any rational system of human discipline must conform ? 
Is it not manifest that a legislation which ignores it and tacitly 
assumes its opposite, will inevitably fail? Yet much of our 
legislation does this ; and we are at present, legislature and 
nation together, eagerly pushing forward schemes which proceed 
on the postulate that conduct is determined not by feelings, but 
by cognitions. 

For what else is the assumption underlying this anxious 
urging- on of organizations for teaching ? What is the root-notion 
common to Secularists and Denominationalists, but the notion 
that spread of knowledge is the one thing needfiil for bettering 
behaviour ? Having both swallowed certain statistical fallacies, 
there has grown up in them the belief that State-education 
will check ill-doing. In newspapers, they have often met with 
comparisons between the numbers of criminals who can read and 
nvrite and the numbers who can not ; and finding the numbers 
who can not greatly exceed the numbers who can, they accept 
the inference that ignorance is the cause of crime. It does 
not occur to them to ask whether other statistics, similarly 
drawn up, would not prove with like conclusiveness that crime 
is caused by absence of ablutions, or by lack of clean linen, or by 
bad ventilation, or by want of a separate bed-room. Go through 
any jail and ascertain how many prisoners had been in the habit 
of taking a morning bath, and you would find that criminality 
habitiially went with dirtiness of skin. Count up those who had 
possessed a second suit of clothes, and a comparison of the figures 
■would show you that but a small percentage of criminals were 
habitually able to change their garments. Inquire whether they 
liad lived in main streets or down courts, and you would dis- 
cover that nearly all urban crime comes from holes and corners. 
Similarly, a fanatical advocate of total abstinence or of sanitary 


improvement, could get equally-strong statistical justifications 
for his belief. But if, not accepting the random inference pre« 
sented to you that ignorance and crime are cause and effect, you 
consider, as above, whether crime may not with equal reason be 
ascribed to various other causes, you are led to see that it is 
really connected with an inferior mode of life, itself usually con- 
sequent on original inferiority of nature ; and you are led to see 
that ignorance is simply one of the concomitants, no more to be 
held the cause of crime than various other concomitants. 

But this obvious criticism, and the obvious counter-conclusion 
it implies, are not simply overlooked, btit, when insisted on, 
seem powerless to affect the belief which has taken possession 
of men. Disappointment alone will now affect it. A wave of 
opinion reaching a certain height, cannot be changed by any 
evidence or argument; but has to spend itself in the gradual 
course of things before a reaction of opinion can arise. Other- 
wise it would be incomprehensible that this confidence in the 
curative effects of teaching, which men have carelessly allowed 
to be generated in them by the re-iterations of doctrihaire poli- 
ticians, should survive the direct disproofs yielded by daily 
experience. Is it not the trouble of every mother and every 
governess, that perpetual insisting on the right and denouncing 
the wrong do not suffice ? Is it not the constant complaint that 
on many natiu-es reasoning and explanation and the clear demon- 
stration of consequences are scarcely at all operative ; that 
where they are operative there is a more or less marked differ- 
ence of emotional nature ; and that where, having before failed, 
they begin to succeed, change of feeling rather than difference of 
apprehension is the cause ? Do we not similarly hear from every 
hoasekceper that servants usually pay but little attention to 
reproofs ; that they go on perversely in old habits, regard- 
less of clear evidence of their foolishness ; and that their actions 
are to be altered not by explanations and reasonings, but by 
either the fear of penalties or the experience of penalties — that 
is, by the emotions aAvakcned in them ? When we turn from 


domestic life to the life of the outer world, do not like 
disproofs everywhere meet us ? Are not fraudulent bankrupts 
educated people, and getters-up of bubble-companies, and 
makers of adulterated goods, and users of false trade-marks, 
and retailers who have light weights, and owners of unseaworthy 
ships, and those who cheat insurance-companies, and those who 
carry on turf-chicaneries, and the great majority of gamblers ? 
Or, to take a more extreme form of turpitude, — ^is there not, 
among those who have committed murder by poison within our 
memories, a considerable number of the educated — a number 
bearing as large a ratio to the educated classes as does the total 
number of murderers to the total population ? 

This belief in the moralizing elfects of intellectual culture, 
flatly contradicted by facts, is absurd a priori. What imaginable 
connexion is there between the learning that certain clusters of 
marks on paper stand for certain words, and the getting a higher 
sense of duty ? What possible effect can acquirement of facility 
in making written signs of sounds, have in strengthening the 
desire to do right ? How does knowledge of the multiplication- 
table, or quickness in adding and dividing, so increase the sym- 
pathies as to restrain the tendency to trespass against fellow- 
creatui^es ? In what way can the attainment of accuracy in 
spelling and parsing, &c., make the sentiment of justice more 
powerful than it was ; or why from stores of geographical 
information, perseveringly gained, is there likely to come in- 
creased regard for truth ? The irrelation between such causes 
and such effects, is almost as great as that between exercise of 
the fingers and strengthening of the legs. One who should by 
lessons in Latin hope to give a knowledge of geometry, or one 
who should expect practice in drawing to be followed by expres- 
sive rendering of a sonata, would be thought fit for an asylum ; 
and yet he would be scarcely more irrational than are those who 
by discipline of the intellectual faculties expect to produce better 

This faith in lesson-books and readings is one of the super- 

3G4 th:: st'jdy of sociology. 

stitions of the age. Even as appliances to intellectual culture 
books are greatly over-estimated. Instead of second-hand 
knowledge being regarded as of less value than first-hand 
knowledge, and as a knowledge to be sought only where first- 
hand knowledge cannot be had, it is actually regarded as of 
greater value. Something gathered from printed pages is sup- 
posed to enter into a course of education ; but if gathered by 
observation of Life and Kature, is supposed not thus to enter. 
Reading is seeing by proxy — is learning indirectly through 
another man's faculties instead of directly through one's own 
faculties ; and such is the prevailing bias that the indirect 
learning is thought preferable to the direct learning, and usurps 
the name of cultivation ! "We smile when told that savages 
consider writing as a kind of magic ; and we laugh at the story 
of the negro who hid a letter under a stone, that it might not 
inform against him when he devoured the fruit he was sent with. 
Yet the current notions about printed information betray a 
kindred delusion : a kind of magical efficacy is ascribed to ideas 
gained through artificial appliances, as compared with ideas 
otherwise gained. And this delusion, injurious in its effects 
even on intellectual culture, produces effects still more injurious 
on moral culture, by generating the assumption that this, too, 
can be got by reading and the repeating of lessons. 

It will, I know, be said that not from intellectual teaching but 
from moral teaching, is improvement of conduct and diminution 
of crime looked for. While, unquestionably, many of those who 
urge on educational schemes believe in the moralizing effects of 
knowledge in general, it must be admitted that some hold general 
knowledge to be inadequate, and contend that rules of right 
conduct must be taught. Already, however, reasons have been 
given why the expectations even of these, are illusory; proceeding, 
as they do, on the asstunption that the intellectual acceptance ot" 
moral precepts will produce conformity to them. Plenty more 
reasons are forthcoming. I will not dwell on the contradictions 
to this assumption furnished by the Chinese, to whom the 


high ethical maxims of Confucius are taught, and "who yet fail 
to show us a conduct proportionately exemplary. Nor will I 
enlarge on the lesson to be derived from the United States, the 
school-system of which brings up the whole population under 
the daily influence of chapters which set forth principles of right 
conduct, and which nevertheless in its political life, and by 
many of its social occurrences, shows us that conformity to these 
principles is anything but complete. It W"ill suflB.ce if I limit 
myself to evidence supplied by our own society, past and pre- 
sent ; which negatives, very decisively, these sanguine expecta- 
tions. For what have we been doing all these many cen- 
turies by our religious agencies, but preaching right principles to 
old and young ? What has been the aim of services in our ten 
thousand chiirches week after week, but to enforce a code of good 
conduct by promised rewards and threatened penalties ? — the 
whole population having been for many generations compelled t; > 
listen. What have the multitudinous Dissenting chapels been 
used for, unless as places where pursuance of right and desistance 
from wrong have been unceasingly commended to all from child- 
hood upwards ? And if now it is held that something more 
must be done — if, notwithstanding perpetual explanations and 
denunciations and exhortations, the misconduct is so great 
that society is endangered, why, after all this insistance has 
failed, is it expected that more insistance will succeed ? See 
here the proposals and the implied beliefs. Teaching by 
clergymen not having had the desired effect, let us try teachino* 
by schoolmasters. Bible-reading from a pulpit, with the accom- 
paniment of imposing architecture, painted windows, tombs, and 
"dim religious light," having proved inadequate, suppose we try 
bible-reading in rooms with bare walls, relieved only by maps 
and drawings of animals. Commands and interdicts uttered by 
a surpliced priest to minds prepared by chant and organ-peal, not 
having been obeyed, let us see whether they will be obeyed 
when mechanically repeated in schoolboy sing-song to a thread- 
bare usher, amid the buzz of lesson-learning and clatter of slates. 


Not very hopeful proposals, one would say ; proceeding, as they 
do, upon one or other of the behefs, that a moral precept will be 
effective in proportion as it is received without emotional accom- 
paniment, and that its effectiveness will increase in proportion 
to the number of times it is repeated. Both these behefs are 
directly at variance with the results of psychological analysis 
and of daily experience. Certainly, such influence as may be 
gained by addressing moral truths to the intellect, is made greater 
if the accompaniments arouse an appropriate emotional excite- 
ment, as a rehgious service does ; while, conversely, there can be 
no more effectual way of divesting such moral truths of their im- 
pressiveness, than associating them with the prosaic and vulga- 
rizing sounds and sights and smells coming from crowded 
children. And no less certain is it that precepts often heard and 
little regarded, lose by repetition the small influence they had. 
What do public-schools shoAV us ? — are the boys rendered merciful 
to one another by listening to religious injunctions every morn- 
ing ? What do Universities show us ? — have perpetual chapels 
habitually made undergraduates behave better than the average 
of young men ? What do Cathedral-towns show us ? — is there 
in them a moral tone above that of other toAvns, or must we 
from the common saying, "the nearer the Church," &c., infer a 
pervading impression to the contrary ? What do clergymen's 
sons show us ? — has constant insistance on right conduct made 
them conspicuously superior, or do we not rather hear it 
whispered that something like an opposite effect seems produced. 
Or, to take one more case, what do religious newspapers show 
^;, ? — is it that the precepts of Christianity, more familiar to 
their writers than to other ^vI•iters, are more clearly to be traced 
in their articles, or has there not ever been displayed a want 
of charity in their dealings with opponents, and is it not still 
displayed ? '^ Nowhere do we find that repetition of rules of • 
right, already known but disregarded, produces regard for them ; 
but we find that, contrariwise, it makes the regard for them less 
than before. ^ 


The prevailing assumption is, indeed, as much disproved by 
analysis as it is contradicted by familiar facts. Already we have 
seen tliat the connexion is between action and feeling ; and 
hence the corollary that only by a frequent passing of feeling 
into action, is the tendency to such action strengthened. Just as 
two ideas often repeated in a certain order, become coherent 
in that order ; and just as muscular motions, at first difficult to 
combine properly with one another and with guiding perceptions, 
become by practice facile, and at length automatic ; so the 
recurring production of any conduct by its prompting emotion, 
makes that conduct relatively easy. IS'ot by precept, though 
heard daily ; not by example, unless it is followed ; but only by 
action, often caused by the related feeling, can a moral habit be 
formed. And yet this truth, which Mental Science clearly 
teaches, and which is in harmony with familiar sayings, is a 
truth wholly ignored in current educational fanaticisms. 

There is ignored, too, the correlative truth ; and ignoring it 
threatens results still more disastrous. While we see an expec- 
tation of benefits which the means used cannot achieve, we see no 
consciousness of injuries which will be entailed by these means. 
As usually happens with those absorbed in the eager pursuit of 
some good by governmental action, there is a bhndness to the 
evil reaction on the natures of citizens. Already the natures of 
citizens have suffered from kindred reactions, due to actions set 
up centuries ago ; and now the mischievous effects are to be 
increased by further such reactions. 

The English people are complained of as improvident. Very 
few of them lay by in anticipation of times when work is slack ; 
and the general testimony is that higher wages commonly result 
only in more extravagant living or in drinking to greater excess. 
As we saw a while since, they neglect opportunities of becoming 
shareholders in the companies they are engaged under ; and 
those who are most anxious for their welfare, despair on finding 
how Httle they do to raise themselves when they have the 


means. This tendency to seize immediate gratification regard- 
less of future penalty, is commented on as characteristic ol 
the English people ; and contrasts between them and their 
Continental neighbours having been drawn, surprise is expressed 
that such contrasts should exist. Improvidence is spoken of as 
an inexplicable trait of the race — no regard being paid to the fact 
that races with which it is compared are allied in blood. The 
people of Norway are economical and extremely prudent. The 
Danes, too, are thrifty ; and Defoe, commenting on the extrava- 
gance of his countrymen, says that a Dutchman gets rich on 
wages out of which an Englishman but just lives. So, too, if we 
take the modern Grermans. Alike by the complaints of the 
Americans, that the Grermans are ousting them from their own 
businesses by working hard and living cheaply, and by the 
success here of German traders and the preference shown for 
Grerman waiters, we are taught that in other divisions of the 
Teutonic race there is nothing like this lack of self-control. Nor 
can we ascribe to such portion of Norman blood as exists among 
us, this peculiar trait : descendants of the Normans in France 
are industrious and saving. Why, then, should the English 
people be improvident? If we seek explanation in their re- 
mote lineage, we find none ; but if we seek it in the social 
conditions to which they have been subject, we find a sufficient 
explanation. The English are improvident because they 

have been for ages disciplined in improvidence. Extravagancv 
has been made habitual by shielding them from the sharp 
penalties extravagance brmgs. Carefulness has been discouraged 
by continually showing to the careful that those who were cart- 
less did as well as, or better than, themselves. Nay, there hav^' 
been positive penalties on carefulness. Labourers working hard 
and paying their way, have constantly found themselves called o-. i 
to help in supporting the idle around them ; have had their good- 
taken under distress-warrants, that paupers might be fed ; and 
eventually have found themselves and their children reduced also 
to pauperism. ^ "Well-conducted poor women, supporting them- 


selves without aid or encouragement, have seen the ill-conducted 
receiving parish-jjay for their illegitimate children. Nay, to such 
extremes has the process gone, that women with many illegiti- 
mate children, getting from the rates a weekly sum for each, 
have been chosen as wives by men who wanted the sums thus de- 
rived ! Generation after generation the honest and independent, 
not marrying till they had means, and striving to bring up their 
families without assistance, have been saddled with extra 
burdens, and hindered from leaving a desirable posterity ; 
while the dissolute and the idle, especially when given to that 
lying and servility by which those in authority are deluded, have 
been helped to produce and to rear progeny, charactei-ized, Hke 
themselves, by absence of the mental traits needed for good 
citizenship. And then, after centuries during which we have been 
breeding the race as much as possible from the improvident, and 
repressing the multiplication of the provident, we lift our hands 
and exclaim at the recklessness our people exhibit ! If men 
who, for a score generations, had by preference bred from their 
worst-tempered horses and their least-sagacious dogs, were then 
to wonder because their horses were vicious and their dogs 
stupid, we should think the absurdity of their policy paral- 
leled only by the absurdity of their astonishment ; but human 
beings instead of inferior animals being in question, no absurdity 
is seen either in the policy or in the astonishment. 

And now something more serious happens than the overlook- 
ing of these evils wrought on men's natures by centuries of 
demoralizing influences. We are deliberately estabhshing further 
such influences. Having, as much as we could, suspended the 
civilizing discipline of an industrial life so carried on as to achieve 
self-maintenance without injury to others, we now proceed to 
suspend that civilizing discipline in another direction. Having 
in successive generations done our best to diminish the sense 
of responsibility, by warding-oH evils which disregard of re. 
sponsibility bruigs, we now carry the policy further by reliev- 
ing parents from certain other responsibilities which, in the 


order of nature, fall on tliem. By way of cliecking reckless- 
ness, and discouraging improvident marriages, and raising tlie 
conception of duty, we are diffusing tlie belief that it is not the 
concern of parents to fit their children for the business of life ; 
but that the nation is bound to do this. Everywhere there is a 
tacit enunciation of the marvellous doctrine that citizens are not 
responsible individually for the bringing-up, each of his own 
children, but that these same citizens incorporated into a society, 
are each of them responsible for the bringing-up of everybody 
else's children ! The obligation does not fall upon A in his 
capacity of father, to rear the minds as well as the bodies of 
his offspring ; but in his capacity of citizen, there does fall on 
him the obhgation of mentally rearing the offspring of B, C, 
D, and the rest ; who similarly have their direct parental obli- 
gations made secondary to their indirect obHgations to children 
not their own ! Already it is estimated that, as matters are now 
being arranged, parents wiU soon pay in school-fees for theu' own 
children, only one-sixth of the amount which is paid by them 
through taxes, rates, and voluntary contributions, for children at 
large : in terms of money, the claims of children at large to their 
care, will be taken as six times the claim of their own children ! 
And if, looking back forty years, we observe the growth of the 
public claim versus the private claim, we may infer that the 
private claim will presently be absorbed wholly. Already the 
correlative theory is becoming so definite and positive that you 
meet with the notion, uttered as though it were an tmquestion- 
able truth, that criminals are " society's failures." Presently it 
will be seen that, since good bodily development, as well as good 
mental development, is a pre-requisite to good citizenship, (for 
without it the citizen cannot maintain himself, and so avoid 
Avi'ong-doing,) society is responsible also for the proper feeding 
and clothing of children : indeed, in School-Board discussions, 
there is already an occasional admission that no logically- 
defensible halting-place can be found between the two. And so 
we are progressing towards the wonderful notion, here and there 


finding tacit expression, that people are to marry when they feel 
inclined, and other people are to take the consequences ! 

And this is thought to be the policy conducive to improve- 
ment of behaviour. Men who have been made improvident by 
being shielded from many of the evil results of improvidence, 
are now to be made more provident by further shielding them 
from the evil results of improvidence. Having had their self- 
control decreased by social arrangements which lessened the 
need for self-control, other social arrangements are devised 
which will make self-control still less needful ; and it is hoped so 
to make self-control greater. This expectation is absolutely at 
variance with the whole order of things. Life of every kind, 
human included, proceeds on an exactly-opposite principle. All 
lower types of beings show us that the rearing of offspring 
affords the highest discipline for the faculties. The parental 
instinct is everywhere that which calls out the energies most 
persistently, and in the greatest degree exercises the intelligence. 
The self-sacrifice and the sagacity which inferior creatures 
display in the care of their young, are often commented upon ; 
and everyone may see that parenthood produces a mental 
exaltation not otherwise producible. That it is so among, man- 
kind is daily proved. Continually we remark that men who 
were random grow steady when they have children to provide 
for ; and vain, thoughtless girls, becoming mothers, begin to 
show higher feelings, and capacities that were not before drawn 
out. In both there is a daily discipline in unselfishness, in 
industry, in foresight. The parental relation strengthens from 
hour to hour the habit of postponing immediate ease and egoistic 
pleasiire to the altruistic pleasure obtained by furthering the 
welfare of offspring. There is a frequent subordination of the 
claims of self to the claims of fellow-beings ; and by no other 
agency can the practice of this subordination be so effectually 
secured. Not, then, by a decreased, but by an increased, sense 
of parentsil responsibility is self-control to be made greater and 
recklessness to bo checked. And yet the policy now so earnestly 

B B 2 


and iindoubtingly pursued is one which will inevitably diminish 
the sense of j^arental responsibility. This all-important disci- 
pline of parents' emotions is to be weakened that children may 
get reading and grammar and geography more generally than 
they would otherwise do. A superficial intellectualization is to 
be secured at the cost of a deep-seated demorahzation. 

Few, I suppose, will deliberately assert that information is 
important and character relatively unimportant. Everyone 
observes from time to time how much more valuable to himself 
and others is the workman who, though unable to read, is 
diligent, sober, and honest, than is the well-taught workman who 
breaks his engagements, spends days in drinking, and neglects 
his family. And, comparing members of the upper classes, no 
one doubts that the spendthrift or the gambler, however good 
his intellectual training, is inferior as a social unit to the man 
who, not having passed through the approved currictdum, never- 
theless prospers by performing well the work he undertakes, and 
provides for his children instead of leaving them in poverty to 
the care of relatives. That is to say, looking at the matter in 
the concrete, all see that for social welfare, good character is 
more important than much knowledge. And yet the manifest 
corollary is not drawn. What effect will be produced on character 
by artificial appliances for spreading knowledge, is not asked. 
Of the ends to be kept in view by the legislator, all are unim- 
jjortant compared with the end of character-making ; and yet 
character-making is an end wholly unrecognized. 

Let it be seen that the future of a nation depends on the 
natures of its units ; that their natures are inevitably modified 
in adaptation to the conditions in which they are placed ; that 
the feelings called into play by these conditions will strengthen, 
while those which have diminished demands on them will 
dwindle ; and it will be seen that the bettering of conduct can 
be effected, not by insisting on maxims of good conduct, still 
less by mere intellectual culture, but only by that daily exer- 
cise of the higher sentiments and repression of the lower, which 



results from keeping men subordinate to tlie requirements of 
orderly social life — letting tliem suffer the inevitable penalties of 
breaking these requirements and reap the benefits of conforming 
to them. This alone is national education. 

One further instance of the need for psychological inquiries as 
guides to sociological conclusions, may be named — an instance 
of qnite a different kind, but one no less relevant to questions of 
the time. I refer to the comparative psycho] Dgy of the sexes. 
Women, as well as men, are units in a society ; and tend by their 
natures to g'ive that society certain traits of structure and action. 
Hence the question — Are the mental natures of men and women 
the same ? — is an important one to the sociologist. If they are, 
an increase of feminine influence is not likely to affect the social 
type in a marked manner. If they are not, the social type will 
inevitably be changed by increase of feminine influence. 

That men and women are mentally alike, is as untrue as that 
they are alike bodily. Just as certainly as they have physical 
differences which are related to the respective parts they play in 
the maintenance of the race, so certainly have they psychical 
differences, similarly related to their respective shares in the 
rearing and protection of offspring. To suppose that along with 
the unlikenesses between their parental activities there do not go 
unlikenesses of mental faculties, is to suppose that here alone 
in all ISTature, there is no adjustment of special powers to special 

Two classes of differences exist between the psychical, as 
between the physical, structui'es of men and women, which are 
both determined by this same fundamental need — adapta- 
tion to the paternal and maternal duties. The first set of 
differences is that which results from a somewhat-earlier arrest 
of individual evolution in women than in men ; necessitated by 
the reservation of vital power to meet the cost of reproduction. 
Whereas, in man, individual evolution continues until the physio- 
logical cost of self-maintenance very nearly balances what nutri- 


tion supplies, in woman, an arrest of individual development 
takes place vpliile there is yet a considerable margin of nutrition : 
otherwise there could be no offspring. Hence the fact that girls 
come earlier to maturity than boys. Hence, too, the chief con- 
trasts in bodily form : the masculine figure being distinguished 
from the feminine by the greater relative sizes of the parts which 
carry on external actions and entail physiological cost — the 
limbs, and those thoracic viscera which their activity immediately 
taxes. And hence, too, the physiological truth that throughout 
their lives, but especially during the child-bearing age, women 
exhale smaller quantities of carbonic acid, relatively to their 
weights, than men do ; showing that the evolution of energy is 
relatively less as well as absolutely less. This rather earlier 
cessation of individual evolution thus necessitated, showing itself 
in a rather, smaller growth of the nervo- muscular system, so 
that both the limbs which act and the brain which makes them 
act are somewhat less, has two results on the raind. The 
mental manifestations have somewhat less of general power 
or massiveness ; and beyond this there is a perceptible falling- 
short in those two faculties, intellectual and emotional, which 
are the latest products of human evolution — the power of ab- 
stract reasoning and that most abstract of the emotions, the 
sentiment of justice — the sentiment which regulates conduct 
irrespective of personal attachments and the likes or dislikes felt 
for individuals.^ 

After this quantitative mental distinction, which becomes 
incidentally qualitative by telling most upon the most recent 
and most complex faculties, there come the qualitative mental 
distinctions consequent on the relations of men and women to 
their children and to one another. Though the parental instinct, 
which, considered in its essential nature, is a love of the help- 
less, is common to the two ; yet it is obviously not identical in 
the two. That the particular form of it which responds to 
infantine helplessness is more dominant in women than in men, 
cannot be questioned. In man the instinct is not so habitually 



excited by the very helpless, but has a more generalized rela- 
tion to all the relatively-weak who are dependent upon bim. 
Doubtless, along with this more specialized instinct in women, 
tbci-e go special aptitudes for dealing with infantine life — an 
adapted power of intuition and a fit adjustment of behaviour. 
That there is here a mental specialization, joined with the bodily 
specialization, is undeniable ; and this mental specialization, 
though primarily related to the rearing of offspring, affects in 
some degree the conduct at large. 

The remaining qualitative distinctions between the minds of 
men and women, are those which have grown out of their 
mutual relation as stronger and weaker. If we trace the genesis 
of human character, by considering the conditions of existence 
through which the human race passed in early barbaric times and 
during civilization, we shall see that the weaker sex has naturally 
acquu-ed certain mental traits by its dealings with the stronger. 
In the course of the struggles for existence among wild tribes, 
those tribes survived in which the men were not only powerful 
and coui'ageous, but aggressive, unscrupulous, intensely egoistic. 
I^ecessarily, then, the men of the conquering races which gave 
origin to the civiHzed races, were men in whom the brutal 
characteristics were dominant; and necessarily the women of 
such races, having to deal with brutal men, prospered in pro- 
portion as they possessed, or acquired, fit adjustments of nature. 
How were women, unable by strength to hold their own, other- 
wise enabled to hold their own ? Several mental traits helped 
them to do this. We may set down, first, the ability 

to please, and the concomitant love of approbation. Clearly, 
other things equal, among women living at the mercy of men, 
those who succeeded most in pleasing would be the most likely to 
survive and leave posterity. And (recognizing the predominant 
descent of qualities on the same side) this, acting on successive 
generations, tended to establish, as a feminine trait, a special 
solicitude to be approved, and an aptitude of manner to this 
end. Similarly, the wives of merciless savages must, 


other things equal, have prospered in proportion to their powers 
o£ disguising their feelings. Women who betrayed the state of 
antagonism produced in them by ill-treatment, would be less 
likely to survive and leave offspring than those who concealed 
their antagonism ; and hence, by inheritance and selection, a 
growth of this trait proportionate to the requirement. In 

some cases, again, the arts of persuasion enabled women to pro- 
tect themselves, and by imphcation their offspring, where, in 
the absence of such arts, they would have disappeared early, or 
would have reared fewer children. One further ability 

may be named as likely to be cultivated and established — the 
ability to distinguish quickly the passing feelings of those 
around. In barbarous times a woman who could from a move- 
ment, tone of voice, or expression of face, instantly detect in her 
savage husband the passion that was rising, would be likely to 
escape dangers run into by a woman less skilled in interpreting 
the natural language of feeling. Hence, from the perpetual 
exercise of this power, and the survival of those having most 
of it, we may infer its establishment as a feminine faculty. 
Ordinarily, this feminine faculty, sho-\^ang itself in an aptitude 
for guessing the state of mind through the external signs, 
ends simply in intuitions formed without assignable reasons ; 
but when, as happens in rare cases, there is joined with 
it skill in psychological analysis, there resiilts an extremely- 
remarkable ability to interpret the mental states of others. Of 
this ability we have a living example never hitherto paralleled 
among women, and in but few, if any, cases exceeded among 
men. Of course, it is not asserted that the specialities 

of mind here described as having been developed in women by 
the necessities of defence in their dealings with men, are peculiar 
to them : in men also they have been developed as aids to defence 
in their dealings with one another. But the difference is that 
whereas, in their dealings with one another, men depended on 
these aids only in some measure, women in their dealings with 
men depended upon them almost wholly — within the domestic 


circle as well as without it. Hence, in virtue of that partial 
limitation of heredity by sex, which many facts throughout 
ISature show us, they have come to be more marked in women 
than in men.^ 

One further distinctive mental trait in women, springs out of 
the relation of the sexes as adjusted to the welfare of the race. 
I refer to the effect which the manifestation of power of every 
kind in men, has in determining the attachments of women. 
That this is a trait inevitably produced, will be manifest on 
asking what would have happened if women had by preference 
attached themselves to the weaker men. If the weaker men had 
habitually left posterity when the stronger did not, a progressive 
deterioration of the race would have resulted. Clearly, therefore, 
it has happened (at least, since the cessation of marriage by 
capture or by purchase has allowed feminine choice to play an im- 
portant part), that, among women unlike in their tastes, those who 
were fascinated by power, bodily or mental, and who married men 
able to protect them and their children, were more likely to survive 
in posterity than women to whom weaker men were pleasing, 
and whose children were both less efficiently guarded and less 
capable of self-preservation if they reached maturity. To this 
admiration for power, caused thus inevitably, is ascribable the 
fact sometimes commented upon as strange, that women will 
continue attached to men who use them ill, but whose brutality 
goes along with power, more than they will continue attached to 
weaker men who use them well. With this admiration 

of power, primarily having this function, there goes the admira- 
tion of power in general ; which is more marked in women than 
in men, and shows itself both theologically and politically. 
That the emotion of awe aroused by contemplating whatever 
suggests transcendent force or capacity, which constitutes 
religious feeling, is strongest in wonien, is proved in many 
ways. We read that among the Greeks the women were more 
religiously excitable than the men. Sir Rutherford Alcock tells 
us of the Japanese that "in the temples it is very rare to 


see any congregation except women and children ; the men, at 
any time, are very few, and those generally of the lower classes." 
Of the pilgi'ims to the temple of Juggernaut, it is stated tha^ 
" at least five-sixths, and often nine-tenths, of them are females/ 
And we are also told of the Sikhs, that the women believe in 
more gods than the men do. Which facts, coming from different 
races and times, sufficiently show us that the like fact, famihar 
to us in Roman Catholic countries and to some extent at home, 
is not, as many think, due to the education of women, but 
has a deeper cause in natural character. And to this same 
cause is ia like manner to be ascribed the greater respect felt by 
women for all embodiments and symbols of authority, govern- 
mental and social. 

Thus the ct priori inference, that fitness for their respective 
parental functions implies mental differences between the sexes, 
as it implies bodily differences, is justified ; as is also the kindred 
inference that secondary differences are necessitated by their 
relations to one another. Those unlikenesses of mind between 
men and women, which, under the conditions, were to be 
expected, are the unlikenesses we actually find. That they are 
fixed in degree, by no means follows : indeed, the contrary 
follows. Determiued as we see they some of them are by 
adaptation of primitive women's natures to the natures of 
primitive men, it is inferable that as civilization re-adjusts men's 
natures to higher social requirements, there goes on a correspond- 
ing re-adjustment between the natures of men and women, 
tending in sundry respects to diminish their differences. 
Especially may we anticipate that those mental peculiarities 
developed in women as aids to defence against men iu barbarous 
times, will diminish. It is probable, too, that though all kinds 
of power will continue to be attractive to them, the attractiveness 
of physical strength and the mental attributes that commonly go 
along with it, will decline ; while the attributes which conduce 
to social influence will become more attractive. Further, it is 
to be anticipated that the higher culture of women, carried on 



witliin sticli limits as shall not undtily tax the physique (and 
here, by higher culture, I do not mean mere language-learning 
and an extension of the detestable cramming-system at present 
in use), will in other ways reduce the contrast. Slowly leading 
to the result everywhere seen throughout the organic world, of a 
self-preserving power inversely proportionate to the race-preserv- 
ing powei', it will entail a less-early arrest of individual evolution, 
and a diminution of those mental differences between men and 
women, which the early arrest produces. 

Admitting such to be changes which the future will probably 
see wrought out, we have meanwhile to bear in mind these' 
traits of intellect and feeling which distinguish women, and 
to take note of them as factors in social phenomena — much 
more important factors than we commonly suppose. Consider- 
ing them in the above order, we may note, first, that the love 
of the helpless, which in her maternal capacity woman displays in 
a more special f orin than man, inevitably affects all her thoughts 
and sentiments ; and this being joined in her with a less- de- 
veloped sentiment of abstract justice, she responds more readily 
when appeals to pity are made, than when appeals are made to 
equity. In foregoing chapters we have seen how much our social 
policy disregards the claims of individuals to whatever their efforts 
purchase, so long as no obvious misery is brought on them by 
the disregard ; but when individuals suffer in ways conspicuous 
enough to excite commiseration, they get aid, and often as much 
aid if their sufferings are caused by themselves as if they are 
caused by others — often greater aid, indeed. This social policy, to 
which men tend in an injurious degree, women tend to still more. 
The maternal instinct delights ia yielding benefits apart from 
deserts ; and being partially excited by whatever shows a feeble- 
ness that appeals for help (supposing antagonism has not been 
aroused), carries into social action this preference of generosity to 
justice, even more than men do. A further tendency having the 
same general direction, results from the aptitude which the femi- 
nine intellect has to dwell on the concrete and proximate rather 


tlian on the abstract and remote. The representative faculty in 
women deals quickly and clearly with, the personal, the special, 
and the immediate ; but less readily grasps the general and the 
impersonal. A vivid imagination of simple direct consequences 
mostly shuts out from her mind the imagination of consequences 
that are complex and indirect. The respective behaviours of 
mothers and fathers to children, sufficiently exemplify this 
difference : mothers thinking chiefly of present effects on the 
conduct of children, and regarding less the distant effects on 
their characters ; while fathers often repress the promptings 
of their sympathies with a view to ultimate benefits. And this 
difference between their ways of estimating consequences, affect- 
ing their judgments on social affairs as on domestic affairs, makes 
women err still more than men do in seeking what seems an 
immediate public good without thought of distant public evils. 
Once more, we have in women the predominant awe of power 
and authority, swaying their ideas and sentiments about all 
institutions. This tends towards the strengthening of govern- 
ments, political and ecclesiastical. Faith in whatever presents 
itself with imposing accompaniments, is, for the reason above 
assigned, especially strong in women. Doubt, or criticism, or 
calling-in-question of things that are established, is rare among 
them. Hence in public affairs their influence goes towards 
the maintenance of controlling agencies, and does not resist the 
extension of such agencies : rather, in pursuit of immediate 
]3romised benefits, it urges on that extension ; since the concrete 
good in view excludes from their thoughts the remote evils 
of multiplied restraints. Reverencing power more than men do, 
women, by imphcation, respect freedom less — freedom, that is, 
not of the nominal kind, but of that real kind which consists in 
the ability of each to cany on his own life without hindrance 
from others, so long as he does not hinder them. 

As factors in social phenomena, these distinctive mental traits 
of women have ever to be remembered. "Women have in all times 
played a part, and, in modern days, a very notable part, in 


determining social arrangements. They act both directly and 
indirectly. Directly, they take a large, if not the larger, 
share in that ceremonial government which supplements the 
political and ecclesiastical governments ; and as supporters of 
these other governments, especially the ecclesiastical, their 
direct aid is by no means unimportant. Indirectly, they act by 
modifying the opinions and sentiments of men — first, in. edu- 
cation, when the expression of matei-nal thoughts and feel- 
ings affects the thoughts and feelings of boys, and after- 
wards in domestic and social intercourse, during which the 
feminine sentiments sway men's public acts, both consciously 
and unconsciously. Whether it is desirable that the share 
already taken by women in determining social arrangements and 
actions should be increased, is a question we will leave undis- 
cussed. Here I am concerned merely to point out that, in the 
course of a psychological preparation for the study of Sociology, 
we must include the comparative psychology of the sexes ; so 
that if any change is made, we may m.ake it knowing what we 
are doing. 

Assent to the general proposition set forth in this chapter, does 
not depend on assent to the particular propositions unfolded in 
illustrating it. Those who, while pressing forward education, are 
so certain they know what good education is, that, in an essen- 
tially-Papal spirit, they wish to force children through their exist- 
ing school-courses, under penalty on parents who resist, will not 
have their views modified by what has been said. I do not 
look, either, for any appreciable effect on those who shut out from 
consideration the reactive influence on moral nature, entailed by 
the action of a system of intellectual culture which habituates 
parents to make the public responsible for their children's minds. 
I^or do I think it likely that many of those who wish to change 
fundamentally the political status of women, will be influenced by 
the considerations above set forth on the comparative psychology 
of the sexes. But without acceptance of these illustrative conclu- 


sions, tliere may be acceptance of the general conclusion, that 
psychological ti'uths underlie sociological truths, and must there- 
fore be sought by the sociologist. For whether discipline of the 
intellect does or does not change the emotions ; whether national 
character is or is not progressively adapted to social conditions ; 
whether the minds of men and women are or are not alike ; are 
obviously psychological questions ; and either answer to any one 
of them, implies a psychological conclusion. Hence, whoever on 
any of these questions has a conviction to which he would 
give legislative expression, is basing a sociological belief upon 
a psychological belief; and cannot deny that the one is 
true only if the other is true. Having admitted this, he raust 
admit that without preparation in Mental Science there can be 
no Social Science. For, otherwise, he must assert that the 
randomly-made and carelessly-grouped observations on ISIind, 
common to all people, ai'e better as guides than observations 
cautiously collected, critically examined, and generalized in a 
systematic way. 

No one, indeed, who is once led to dwell on the matter, can fail 
to see how absurd is the supposition that there can be a rational 
interpretation of men's combined actions, without a previous 
rational interpretation of those thoughts and feelings by which 
their individual actions arc prompted. Nothing comes out of a 
society but what originates in the motive of an individual, or in 
the united similar motives of many individuals, or in the conflict 
of the united similar motives of some having certain interests, 
with the diverse motives of others whose interests are different. 
Always the power which initiates a change is feeling, separate 
or aggregated, guided to its ends by intellect ; and not even 
an approach to an explanation of social phenomena can be 
made, without the thoughts and sentiments of citizens being 
recognized as factors. How, then, can there be a true account of 
social actions without a true account of these thoughts and senti- 
ments ? Manifestly, those who ignore Psychology as a prepara- 
tion for Sociology, can defend theu' position only by proving that 



wliile other groups of plienomena require special study, tlie plieno- 
mena of Mind, in all tlieir variety and intricacy, are best under- 
stood witliout special study; and that knowledge of human 
nature gained haphazard, becomes obscure and misleading in 
proportion as there is added to it knowledge deliberately sought 
and carefully put together. 



Of readers who liave accompanied me thus far, probably some 
think that the contents of the work go beyond the limits impHed 
by its title. Under the head, Study of Sociology/, so many sociolo- 
gical questions have been incidentally discussed, that the science 
itself has been in a measure dealt with while dealing with the 
study of it. Admitting this criticism, my excuse must be that 
the fault, if it is one, has been scarcely avoidable. Nothing to 
much purpose can be said about the study of any science wath- 
out saying a good deal about the general and special truths it 
includes, or what the expositor holds to be truths. To write an 
essay on the study of Astronomy in which there should be no 
direct or implied conviction respecting the Copernican theory of 
the Solar System, nor any such recognition of the Law of Gra- 
vitation as involved acceptance or rejection of it, would be a 
task difficult to execute, and, when executed, probably of little 
value. Similarly -with Sociology — it is next to impossible for 
a writer who points out the way towards its truths, to exclude 
all tacit or avowed expressions of opinion about those truths ; 
and, were it possible to exclude such expressions of opinion, it 
would be at the cost of those illustrations needed to make his 
exposition efiective. 

Such must be, in part, my defence for having set down many 
Liiouo-hts which the title of this work does not cover. Especially 
have I found myself obliged thus to transgress, by representing 


the study of Sociology as the study of Evolution in its most 
complex form. It is clear that to one who considers the facts 
societies exhibit as having had their origin in supernatural inter, 
positions, or in the wills of individual ruling men, the study of 
these facts will have an aspect wholly unlike that which it has 
to one who contemplates them as generated by processes of 
growth and development continuing through centuries. Ignor- 
ing, as the first view tacitly does, that conformity to law, in the 
scientific sense of the word, which the second view tacitly 
asserts, there can be but little community between the methods 
of inquiry proper to them respectively. Continuous causation, 
which in the one case there is little or no tendency to trace, 
becomes, in the other case, the chief object of attention ; whence 
it follows that there mnst be formed wholly-different ideas of 
the appropriate modes of investigation. A foregone conclusion 
respecting the nature of social phenomena, is thus inevitably 
implied in any suggestions for the study of them. 

While,' however, it mnst be admitted that throughout this 
work there runs the assumption that the facts, simultaneous and 
successive, which societies present, have a genesis no less natural 
than the genesis of facts of all other classes ; it is not adixdtted 
that this assumption was made nnawares, or without warrant. 
At the outset, the grounds for it were examined. The notion, 
widely accepted in name though not consistently acted upon, 
that social phenomena differ from phenomena of most other 
kinds as being under special providence, we found to be entirely 
discredited by its expositors ; nor, when closely looked into, did 
the great-man-theory of social affairs prove to be more tenable. 
Besides finding that both these views, rooted as they are in the 
ways of thinking natural to primitive men, would not bear 
criticism ; we f onnd that even their defenders continually betrayed 
their beliefs in the production of social changes by natural causes — 
tacitly admitted that after certain antecedents certain consequents 
are to be expected — tacitly admitted, therefore, that some pre- 
vision is possible, and therefore some subject-matter for Science. 


Frona these negative justifications for the belief that Sociology is 
a science, we turned to the positive justifications. We found 
that every aggregate of units of any order, has certain traits 
necessarily determined by the properties of its tmits. Hence it 
was inferable, ^ priori, that, given the natures of the men who 
are their nnits, and certain characters in the societies formed are 
])re-determined — other charactei'S being determined by the co- 
operation of surrounding conditions. The current assertion that 
Sociology is not possible, implies a misconception of its nature. 
Using the analogy supplied by a human life, we saw that just as 
bodily development and structure and function, furnish subject- 
matter for biological science, though the events set forth by the 
biographer go beyond its range ; so, social growth, and the rise 
of structures and functions accompanying it, furnish subject- 
matter for a Science of Society, though the facts with which 
historians fill their pages mostly yield no material for Science. 
Thus conceiving the scope of the science, we saw, on comparing 
rudimentary societies with one another and with societies in dif- 
ferent stages of progress, that they do present certain common 
traits of structure and of function, as well as certain common 
traits of development. Further comparisons similarly made, 
opened large questions, such as that of the relation between social 
growth and organization, which form parts of this same science ; 
— questions of transcendent importance compared with those 
occupying the minds of politicians and writers of history. 

The difficulties of the Social Science next drew our attention. 
We saw that in this case, though in no other case, the facts to be 
observed and generalized by the student, are exhibited by an 
aggregate of which he forms a part. In his capacity of inquirer, 
he should have no inclination towards one or other conclusion 
respecting the phenomena to be generahzed ; but in his capacity 
of citizen, helped to live by the life of his society, imbedded in 
its structures, sharing in its activities, breathing its atmosphere 
of thought and sentiment, he is partially coerced into such views 


as favour Itarmonious co-operation with his fcIlo\y-citizens. 
Hence immense obstacles to the Social Science, unparalleled by 
those standing in the way of any other science. 

From considering thns generally these causes of error, we 
turned to consider them specially. Under the head of objective 
difficulties, we glanced at those many ways in which evidence 
collected by the sociological inquirer is vitiated. That extreme 
untrustworthiness of witnesses which results from carelessness, 
oi' fanaticism, or self-interest, was illustrated ; and we saw that, 
in addition to the perversions of statement hence arising, there 
are others which arise from the tendency there is for some kinds 
of e^adence to draw attention, while evidence of opjDosite kinds, 
much larger in quantity, draws no attention. Further, it was 
shown that the nature of sociological facts, each of which is not 
observable in a single object or act, but is reached only through 
registration and comparison of many objects and acts, makes the 
perception of them harder than that of other facts. It was 
pointed out that the wide distribution of social phenomena in 
Space, greatly hinders true apprehensions of them ; and it was 
also pointed out that another impediment, even still greater, is 
consequent on their distribution in Time — a distribution such 
that many of the facts to be dealt with, take centuries to 
unfold, and can be grasped only by combining in thought 
multitudinous changes that are slow, involved, and not easy 
to trace. Beyond these difficulties which we grouped as 

distinguishing the science itself, objectively considered, we saw 
that there are other difficulties, conveniently to be grouped as 
subjective, which are also great. For the interpretation of human 
.conduct as socially displayed, every one is compelled to use, as a 
key, his own nature — ascribing to others thoughts and feelings 
like his own ; and yet, while this automorphic interpretation is 
indispensable, it is necessarily more or less misleading. Very 
generally, too, a subjective difficulty arises from the lack of in- 
tellectual faculty complex enough to grasp these social pheno- 
mena, which are so extremely involved. And again, very few 

c 2 


have by culture gained that plasticity of faculty requisite for 
conceiving and accepting those immensely-varied actualities 
which societies in drfferent times and places display, and those 
multitudinous possibilities to be inferred from them. Nor, 

of subjective difficulties, did these exhaust the list. From the 
emotional, as well as from the intellectual, part of the nature, we 
saw that there arise obstacles. The ways in which beliefs about 
social affairs are perverted by intense fears and excited hopes, 
were pointed out. We noted the feeling of impatience, as another 
common cause of misjudgment. A contrast was drawn showing, 
too, what perverse estimates of public events men are led to make 
by their sympathies and antipatliies — how, where their hate has 
been aroused, they utter unqualified condemnations of ill-deeds 
for which there was much excuse, while, if their admiration is 
excited by vast successes, they condone inexcusable ill-deeds 
immeasurably greater in amount. And we also saw that among 
the distortions of judgment caused by the emotions, have to be 
included those immense ones generated by the sentiment of loyalty 
to a personal ruler, or to a ruling power otherwise embodied. 

These distortions of judgment caused by the emotions, thus 
indicated generally, we went on to consider specially — treating 
of them as different forms of bias. Though, during education, 
understood in a mde sense, many kinds of bias are commenced or 
given, there is one which our educational system makes especially 
strong — the double bias in favour of the religions of enmity 
and of amity. Needful as we found both of these to be, we per- 
ceived that among the beliefs about social affairs, prompted now 
by the one and now by the other, there are glaring incongmities ; 
and that scientific concejitions can be formed only when there is 
a compromise between the dictates of pure egoism and the dictat^^s^ 
of pure altruism, for which they respectively stand. TVe 

observed, next, the warping of opinion which the bias of patri- 
otism causes. Recognizing the truth that the preservation of a 
society is made possible only by a due amount of patriotic feeling 
in citizens, we saw that this feeling inevitably disturbs the judg- 


ment wlieii comparisons between societies are made, and that tlie 
data required for Social Science are thus vitiated ; and we saw 
that the effort to escape this hias, leading as it does to an opposite 
bias, is apt to vitiate the data in another way. While 

finding the class-bias to be no less essential, we found that it no 
less inevitably causes one-sidedness in the conceptions of social 
affairs. ISToting how the various sub-classes have their speciali- 
ties of prejudice corresponding to their class-interests, we noted, 
at greater length, how the more general prejudices of the larger 
and more widely-distinguished classes, prevent them from forming 
balanced judgments. That in politics the bias of party 

interferes with those calm examinations by which alone the con- 
clusions of Social Science can be reached, scarcely needed point- 
ing out. "We observed, however, that beyond the political bias 
under its party-form, there is a more general political bias — 
the bias towards an exclusively-political view of social affaii's, 
and a corresponding faith in political instrumentalities. As 
affecting the study of Social Science, this bias was shown to be 
detrimental as directing the attention too much to the pheno- 
mena of social regulation, and excluding from thought the 
activities regulated, constituting an aggregate of phenomena far 
more important. Lastly, we came to the theological bias, 

which, under its general form and under its special forms, dis- 
turbs in various ways our judgments on social questions. Obedi- 
ence to a supposed divine command, being its standard of 
rectitiide, it does not ask concerning any social arrangement 
whether it conduces to social welfare, so much as whether it con- 
forms to the creed locally established. Hence, in each place and 
time, those conceptions about public affairs which the theological 
bias fosters, tend to diverge from the truth in so far as the creed 
then and there accepted diverges from the truth. And besides 
the positive evil thus produced, there is a negative evil, due to 
discouragement of the habit of estimating actions b}' the results 
they eventually cause — a habit which the study of SociaJ 
Science demands. 


Having tlius contemplated, in general and in detail, the diffi- 
cnlties of the Social Science, we turned our attention to the pre- 
liminary discipline required. Of the conclusions reached so 
recently, the reader scarcely needs reminding. Study of the 
sciences in general having been pointed out as the proper means 
of generating fit habits of thought, it was shoAvn that the sciences 
especially to be attended to are those treating of Life and of 
Mind. There can be no understanding of social actions without 
some knowledge of human nature ; there can be no deep know- 
ledge of human nature without some knowledge of the laws of 
Mind ; there can be no adequate knowledge of the laws of Mind 
without knowledge of the laws of Life. And that knowledge of 
the Laws of Life, as exhibited in Man, may be properly gi-asped , 
attention must be given to the laws of Life in general. 

What is to be hoped from such a presentation of difficulties 
and such a proguamme of preparatory studies ? "Who, in draw- 
ing his conclusions about public policies, will be made to hesitate 
by remembering the many obstacles that stand in the way of 
right judgments ? Who will think it needful to fit himself by 
inquiries so various and so extensive ? Who, in short, will be 
led to doubt any of the inferences he has drawn, or be induced to 
pause before he draws others, by consciousness of these many 
liabilities to error arising from want of knowledge, want of dis- 
cipline, and want of duly-balanced sentiments ? 

To these questions there can be but the obvious reply — a 
reply which the foregoing chapters themselves involve — that 
very little is to be expected. The implication throughout the 
argument has been that for every society, and for each stage in 
its evolution, there is an appropinate mode of feeling and think- 
ing ; and that no mode of feeling and thinking not adapted to its 
degree of evokition, and to its surroundings, can be permanently 
established. Though not exactly, still approximately, the aver- 
age opinion in any age and country, is a function of the social 
structure in that age and country. There may be, as we see 


during tinies of revolution, a considerable incongruity between 
the ideas that become current and tlie social arrangements which 
exist, and are, in great measure, appropriate ; though even then 
the incongruity does but mark the need for a re-adjustment 
of institutions to character. "While, however, those successive 
compromises which, during social evolution, have to be made 
between the changed natures of citizens and the institutions 
evolved by ancestral citizens, imply disagreements, yet these 
are but partial and temporary — in those societies, at least, 
which are developing and not in course of dissolution. For 
a society to hold together, the institutions that are needed and 
the conceptions that are generally current, must be in tolerable 
harmony. Hence, it is not to be expected that modes of think- 
ing on social affairs, are to be in any considerable degree changed 
by whatever may be said respecting the Social Science, its diffi- 
culties, and the required preparations for studying it. 

The only reasonable hope is, that here and there one may be 
led, in calmer moments, to remember how largely his beliefs about 
public matters have been made for him by circumstances, and 
how probable it is that they are either untrue or but partially 
true. When he reflects on the doubtfulness of the evidence 
which he generalizes, collected hap-hazard from a narrow area — 
when he counts up the perverting sentiments fostered in him by 
educatiouj country, class, party, creed — when, observing those 
around, he sees that from other evidence selected to gratify 
sentiments partially unlike his own, there result unlike views ; 
he may occasionally recollect how largely mere accidents have 
determined his convictions. Recollecting this, he may be induced 
to hold these convictions not quite so strongly ; may see the need 
for criticism of them with a view to revision ; and, above all, may 
be somewhat less eager to act in pursuance of them. 

While the few to whom a Social Science is conceivable, may in 
some degree be thus influenced by what is said concerning the 
sti^dy of it, there can, of course, be no effect on the many to 


wliom suet a science seems an absurdity, or an impiety, or both. 
The feeling usually excited by the proposal to deal scientifically 
with these most-complex phenomena, is like that Tyhich was 
excited in ancient times by the proposal to deal scientifically with 
phenomena of simpler kinds. As ]\Ir. Grote writes of Socrates — 
" Physics and astronomy, in his opinion, belonged to the divine class 
of phaenomena, in which human research was insane, fruitless, and 
impious." ' 

And as he elsewhere writes respecting the attitude of the Greek 
mind in general : — 

" In his [the early Greek's] view, the description of the sun, as given 
in a modern astronomical treatise, would have api^eared not merely 
absurd, but repulsive and impious : even in later times, when the posi- 
tive spirit of inquiry had made consideraTde progress, Anaxagoras and 
other astronomers incurred the charge of blasphemy for dispersoiufying 
Helios, and trying to assign invariable laws to the solar phenomena." ^ 

That a likeness exists between the feeling then displayed 
respecting phenomena of inorganic nature, and the feeling 
now displayed respecting phenomena of Life and Society, is 
manifest. The ascription of social actions and political events 
entirely to natural causes, thus leaving out Providence as a 
factor, seems to the religious mind of our day, as seemed to the 
mind of the pious Greek the dispersonification of Hehos and the 
explanation of celestial motions otherwise than by immediate 
divine agency. As was said by Mr. Gladstone, in a speech made 
shortly after the first publication of the second chapter of this 
volume — 

" I lately read a discussion on the manner in wliich the raising up cf 
particular individuals occasionally occurs in great crises of human 
history, as if some sacred, invisible power had raised them up and 
placed them in particular positions for special purjioses. The writer 
says that they are not uniform, but admits that they are common — so 
Eonunon and so remarkable that men would be liable to term them pro- 
ridential in a pre-scientific age. And this was said without the smallest 
notion apparently in the writei-'s mind that he was giving utterance to 
anything that could startle or alarm — it was said as a kind of common- 


place. It would seem that in his view there was a time when mankind, 
lost in ignorance, might, without forfeiting entirely their title to the 
name of rational creatures, believe in a Providence, but that since that 
period another and greater power has arisen under the name of science, 
and this power has gone to war with Providence, and Providence is 
driven from the field — and we have now the happiness of living in the 
scientific age, when Providence is no longer to be treated as otherwise 
than an idle dream." ' 

Of the mental attitude, very general beyond the limits of the 
scientific world, which these utterances of Mr. Gladstone 
exemplify, he has since given further illustration ; and, in his 
anxiety to check a movement he thinks mischievous, has so con- 
spicuously made himself the exponent of the anti-scientific view, 
that we may fitly regard his thoughts on the matter as typical. 
In an address delivered by him at the Liverpool College, and 
since re-published with additions, he says : — 

" Upon the ground of what is termed evolution, God is relieved of the 
labour of creation ; in the name of unchangeable laws. He is discharged 
from governing the world." [^ See Mr. Gladstone's explanations.] 

This passage proves the kinship between Mr. Gladstone's 
conception of things and that entertained by the Greeks, to be 
even closer than above alleged ; for its implication is, not simply 
that the scientific interpretation of vital and social phenomena as 
conforming to fixed laws, is repugnant to him, but that the like 
interpretation of inorganic phenomena is repugnant. In common 
with the ancient Greek, he regards as irreligious, any explanation 
of Nature which dispenses with immediate divine superintendence. 
He appears to overlook the fact that the doctrine of gravitation, 
with the entire science of physical Astronomy, is open to the 
same charge as this which he makes against the doctrine of 
evolution ; and he seems not to have remembered that throughout 
the past, each further step made by Science has been denounced 
for reasons like those which he assigns.'* 

It is instructive to observe, however, that in these prevailing 
conceptions expressed by Mr. Gladstone, which we have here to 


rote as excliiding' the conception of a Social Science, there is to 
be traced a healthful process of compromise between old and 
new. For as in the current conceptions about the order of events 
in the lives of persons, there is a partnership, wholly illogical 
though temporarily convenient, between the ideas of natural 
causation and of providential interference ; so, in the current 
political conceptions, the belief in divine interpositions goes along 
with, and by no means excludes, the belief in a natural produc- 
tion of effects on society by natural agencies set to work. In 
relation to the occurrences of individual life, we displayed our 
national aptitude for thus entertaining rQutually-destnictive 
ideas, when an unpopular prince suddenly gained popularity 
by outliving certain morbid changes in his blood, and 
when, on the occasion of his recovery, providential aid and 
natural causation were unitedly recognized by a thanksgiving 
to God and a baronetcy to the doctor. And similarly, we 
see that throughout all our public actions, the theory which ]\Ir. 
Griadstone represents, that great men are providentially i*aised 
up to do things God has decided upon, and that the course of 
affairs is supernaturally ordered thus or thus, does not in the least 
interfei^e with the i3assing of measures calculated to achieve 
desired ends in ways classed as natural, and nowise modifies 
the discussion of such measures on their merits, as estimated in 
terms of cause and consequence. While the prayers with which 
each legislative sitting commences, shoAv a nominal belief in 
an immediate divine guidance, the votes vrith which the sitting 
ends, given in pursuance of reasons which the speeches assign, 
show us a real belief that the effects will be determined by the 
agencies set to work. 

Still, it is clear that the old conception, while it qualifies the 
new but little in the regulating of actions, qualifies it very much 
in the forming of theories. There can be no complete accept- 
ance of Sociology as a science, so long as the belief in a social 
order not conforming to natural law, survives. Hence, as already 
said, considerations touching the study of Sociology, not very 


influential even over the few who recognize a Social Science, can 
have scarcely any effects on the great mass to whom a Social 
Science is an incredibility. 

1 do not mean that this prevailing impervionsness to scientific 
conceptions of social phenomena is to be regretted. As implied 
in a foregoing paragraph, it is part of the required adjustment 
between existing opinions and the forms of social life at present 
requisite. With a given phase of human character there must, 
to maintain equilibrium, go an adapted class of institutions, and 
a set of thoughts and sentiments in tolerable harmony with those 
institutions. Hence, it is not to be wished that with the average 
human natnre we now have, there should be a wide acceptance 
of views natnral only to a more-highly-developed social state, and 
to the improved type of citizen accompanying such a state. The 
desirable thing is, that a growth of ideas and feelings tend- 
ing to produce modification, shall be joined with a qontinuance of 
ideas and feelings tending to preserve stability. And it is one 
of our satisfactory social traits, exhibited in a degree never 
before paralleled, that along with a mental progress which brings 
about considerable changes, there is a devotion of thought and 
energy to the maintenance of existing arrangements, and creeds, 
and sentiments — an energy sufficient even to re-invigorate some 
of the old forms and beliefs that were decaying. When, 
therefore, a distinguished statesman, anxious for human welfare 
as he ever shows himself to be, and holding that the defence of 
established beliefs must not be left exclusively to its " standing 
army " of " priests and ministers of religion," undertakes to 
combat opinions at -variance with a creed he thinks essential ; the 
occurrence may be taken as adding another to the many signs of 
a healthful condition of society. That in our day, one in JVIr. 
Gladstone's position should think as he does, seems to me very 
desirable. That we should have for our working-king one in 
whom a purely-scientific conception of things had become 
dominant, and who Avas thus out of harmony with oui' present 


social stale, would probably be detrimental, and miglit be dis- 

For it cannot be too emphatically asserted that this policy of 
compromise, alike in institutions, in actions, and in beliefs, -svhich 
especially characterizes English life, is a policy essential to a 
society going through the transitions caused by continued gi'owth 
and development. The illogicahties and the absurdities to be 
found so abundantly in current opinions and existing arrange- 
ments, are those which inevitably arise in the course of perpetual 
re-adjustments to circumstances perpetually changing. Ideas 
and institutions proper to a past social state, but incongruous 
with the new social state that has gTown out of it, ' surviving 
into this new social state they have made possible, and dis- 
appearing only as this new social state establishes its own ideas 
and institutions, are necessarily, during their survival, in conflict 
with these new ideas and institutions — necessarily furnish element*, 
of contradiction in men's thoughts and deeds. And yet as, for 
the carrying-on of social Hfe, the old must continue so long as 
the new is not ready, this perpetual compromise is an indispen- 
sable accompaniment of a normal development. Its essential- 
ness we may see on remembei'ing that it equally holds through- 
out the evolution of an individual organism. The structui"al and 
functional arrangements during growth, are never quite right : 
always the old adjustment for a smaller size is made wrong by 
the larger size it has been instrumental in producing — always the 
transition- structure is a compromise between the requirements of 
past and future, fulfilling in an imperfect way the requu'ements 
of the present. And this, which is shown clearly enough where 
there is simj)le growth, is shown still more clearly where 
there are metamorphoses. A creature which leads at two periods 
of its existence two dilfcrent kinds of life, and which, in adapta- 
tion to its second period, has to develop structures that were not 
fitted for its first, passes through a stage during which it 
possesses both partially — during which the old dwindles while the 
new grows : as happens, for instance, in creatures that continue to 


breathe water by external brancliise during tbe time tbey are 
developing the lungs that enable them to breathe air. And 
thus it is with the alterations produced by growth in societies, as 
well as with those metamorphoses accompanying change in the 
mode of life — especially those accompanying change from the 
predatory life to the industrial life. Here, too, there must bo 
transitional stages during which incongruous organizations co- 
exist : the first remaining indispensable until the second has 
grown up to its work. Just as injurious as it would be to an am- 
phibianto cut off its branchiae before its lungs were well developed; 
so injurious must it be to a society to destroy its old institu- 
tions before the new have become organized enough to take 
their places. 

Non-recognition of this truth characterizes too m.uch the 
reformers, political, religious, and social, of our own time ; as it 
has characterized those of past times. On the pai"t of men 
eager to rectify wrongs and expel errors, there is still, as there 
ever has been, so absorbing a consciousness of the evils caused by 
old forms and old ideas, as to permit no consciousness of the benefits 
these old forms and old ideas have yielded. This partiality of 
view is, in a sense, necessary. There must be division of labour 
here as elsewhere : some who have the function of attacking, 
and who, that they may attack effectually, must feel strongly the 
viciousness of that which they attack ; some who have the func- 
tion of defending and who, that they may be good defenders, must 
over-value the things they defend. But Avhile this one-sidedness 
has to be tolerated, as in great measure unavoidable, it is in 
some respects to be regretted. Though, with grievances less 
serious and animosities less intense than those which existed here 
in the past, and which exist still abroad, there go mitigated ten- 
dencies to a rash dcstructiveness on the one side, and an un- 
reasoning bigotry on the other ; yet even in oiu' country and age 
there are dangers from the want of a due both-sidedness. In 
the speeches and writings of those who advocate various political 
and social changes, there is so continuous a presentation of in- 


justices, and abuses, and miscliiefs, and corruptions, as to leave 
the impression that for securing a wholesome state of things, 
there needs nothing but to set aside present arrangements. The 
implication seems ever to be that all who occupy places of power, 
and form the regulative organization, are alone to blame for 
whatever is not as it should be ; and that the classes regulated 
are blameless. " See the injuries which these institutions inflict 
on you," says the energetic reformer. " Consider how selfish 
must be the men who maintain them to their own advantage and 
your detriment," he adds. And then he leaves to be drawn the 
manifest inference, that were these selfish men got rid of, all 
would be well. Neither he nor his audience recognizes the facts 
that regulative arrangements are essential ; that the arrange- 
ments in question, along with their many vices, have some 
virtues ; that such vices as they have do not result from an 
egoism peculiar to those who uphold and work them, but result 
from a general egoism — an egoism no less decided in those who 
complain than in those complained of. Inequitable government 
can be upheld only by the aid of a people correspondingly in- 
equitable, in its sentiments and acts. Injustice cannot reign if 
the community does not furnish a due supply of unjust agents. 
No tyrant can tyrannize over a people save on condition that the 
people is bad enough to supply him with soldiers who will fight 
for his tyranny and keep their brethren in slavery. Class-supre- 
macy cannot be maintained by the corrupt buying of votes, unless 
there are multitudes of voters venal enough to sell their votes. 
It is thus everywhere and in all degrees — misconduct among 
those in power is the correlative of misconduct among those over 
whom they exercise power. 

And while, in the men who urge on changes, there is an 
unconsciousness that the evils they denounce are rooted in the 
nature common to themselves and other men, there is also an un- 
consciousness that amid the things they would throw away 
there is much worth preserving. This holds of beliefs more 
especially. Along with the destructive tendency there goes but 


little constructive tendency. The criticisms made, imply that it 
is requisite only to dissipate errors, and that it is needless to 
insist on truths. It is forgotten that, along with forms which are 
bad, there is a large amount of substance which is good. And 
those to whom there are addi'essed condemnations of the forms, 
unaccompanied by the caution that there is a substance to be 
preserved in higher forms, are left, not only without any coherent 
system of guiding beliefs, but without .any consciousness that 
one is requisite. 

Hence the need, above admitted, for an active defence of that 
which exists, carried on by men convinced of its entire worth ; 
so that those who attack may not destroy the good along with 
the bad. 

And here let me point out distinctly, the truth already imjilied, 
that studying Sociology scientifically, leads to fairer apprecia- 
tions of different parties, political, religious, and other. The con- 
ception initiated and developed by Social Science, is at the same 
time Radical and Conservative — Radical to a degree beyond any- 
thing which current Radicalism conceives ; Conservative to a 
degi'ee beyond anything conceived by present Conservatism. 
When there has been adequately seized the truth that societies 
are products of evolution, assuming, in their various times and 
places, their various modifications of structure and function ; 
there follows the conviction that what, relatively to our thoughts 
and sentiments, were arrangements of extreme badness, had 
'fitnesses to conditions which made better arrangements imprac- 
ticable: whence comes a tolerant interpretation of past tyrannies 
at which even the bitterest Tory of our own days would be 
indignant. On the other hand, after observing how the pro- 
cesses that have brought things to their present stage are 
still going on, not with a decreasing rapidity indicating approach 
to cessation, but with an increasing rapidity that imjalies long 
continuance and immense transformations ; there follows the con- 
viction that the remote future has in store, forms of social life 


higher than any we have imagined : there comes a faith tran- 
scending that of the Radical, whose aim is some re-organization 
admitting of comparison to organizations which exist. And 
while this conception of societies as naturally evolved, beginning 
with small and simple types which have their short existences 
and disappear, advancing to higher types that are larger, more 
complex, and longer-lived, coming to still-higher types like 
om* own, great in size, complexity, and duration, and promising 
types transcending these in times after existing societies have 
died away — while this conception of societies implies that in the 
slow course of things changes almost immeasurahle in amount 
are possible, it also implies that but small amounts of such 
changes are possible within short periods. 

Thus, the theory of progress disclosed by the study of Socio- 
logy as science, is one which greatly moderates the hopes aud the 
fears of extreme parties. After clearly seeing that the structures 
and actions thi'oughout a society are determined by the propei'ties 
of its units, and that (external disturbances apart) the society 
cannot be substantially and permanently changed without its 
units being substantially and permanently changed, it becomes 
easy to see that great alterations cannot suddenly be made to much 
purpose. And when both the party of progress and the party of 
resistance perceive that the institutions which at any time exist 
are more deeply rooted than they supposed — when the one 
party perceives that these institutions, imperfect as they are, have 
a temporary fitness, while the other party perceives that the main- 
tenance of them, in so far as it is desirable, is in great measure 
guaranteed by the human nature they have grown out of ; there 
must come a diminishing violence of attack on one side, and a 
diminishing perversity of defence on the other. Evidently, so 
far as a doctrine can influence general conduct (which it can do, 
however, in but a comparatively-small degree), the Doctrine of 
Evolution, in its social applications, is calcialated to produce a 
deadyivg effect, alike on thought and action. 

If, as seems hkely, some should propose to draw the seemingly- 


awkward corollary that it matters not wliat we believe or what 
we teach, since the process of social evolution will take its own 
course in spite of us ; I replj that while this corollary is in one 
sense true, it is in another sense untrue. Doubtless, from all that 
has been said it follows that, supposing suiTOunding conditions 
continue the same, the evolution of a society cannot be in anv 
essential way diverted from its general course; though it also 
follows (and here the corollary is at fault) that the thoughts and 
actions of individuals, being natural factors that arise in the course 
of the evolution itself, and aid in further advancing it, cannot be 
dispensed with, but must be severally valued as increments of 
the aggregate force producing change. But while the corollary 
is even here partially misleading, it is, in another du-ection, far 
more seriou.sly misleading. For though the process of social 
evolution is in its general character so far pre-determined, that 
its successive stages cannot be ante-dated, and that hence no 
teaching or policy can advance it beyond a certain normal rate, 
which is limited by the rate of organic modification in human 
beings ; yet it is quite possible to perturb, to retard, or to dis- 
order the process. The analogy of individual development again 
serves us. The unfolding of an organism after its special type, 
has its approximately-imiform course taking its tolerably-definite 
time ; and no treatment that may be devised will fundamentally 
change or greatly accelerate these : the best that can be done is 
to maintain the required favourable conditions. But it is quite 
easy to adopt a treatment which shall dwarf, or deform, 
or otherwise injure : the processes of growth and development 
may be, and very often are, hindered or deranged, though 
they cannot be artificially bettered. Similarly with the social 
organism. Though, by maintaining favourable conditions, there 
cannot be more good done than that of letting social progress go 
on unhindered ; yet an immensity of mischief may be done in 
the way of distm-bing and distorting and repressing, by policies 
carried out in pursuance of erroneous concej)tions. And thus, 
notwithstanding first appearances to the contrary, there is a 

D D 



very important part to be played by a true theory of social 

A few words to those who think these general conclusions 
discouraging, may be added. Probably the more enthusiastic, 
hopeful of great ameliorations in the state of mankind, to be 
brought about rapidly by propagating this beHef or initiating 
that reform, will feel that a doctrine negativing their sanguine 
anticipations takes away much of the stimulus to exertion. If 
large advances in human welfare can come only in the slow pro- 
cess of things, which will inevitably bring them ; why should we 
trouble ourselves ? 

Doubtless it is true that on visionary hopes, rational criticisms 
have a depressing influence. It is better to recognize the truth, 
however. As between infancy and maturity there is no shortcut 
by which there may be avoided the tedious process of growth and 
development through insensible increments ; so there is no way 
from the lower forms of social life to the higher, but one passing 
through small successive modifications. If we contemplate the 
order of nature, we see that everywhere vast results are brought 
about by accumulations of minute actions. The surface of the 
Earth has been sculptured by forces which in the course of a year 
produce alterations scarcely anywhere visible. Its multitudes of 
different organic forms have arisen by processes so slow, that, 
during the periods our observations extend over, the results are 
in most cases inappreciable. We must be content to recognize 
these truths and conform our hopes to them. Light, falling 
upon a crystal, is capable of altering its molecular arrangements, 
but it can do this only by a repetition of impulses almost 
innumerable : before a unit of ponderable matter can have its 
rhythmical movements so increased by successive etherial waves, 
as to be detached from its combination and arranged in another 
way, milHons of such etherial waves must successively make in- 
finitesimal additions to its motion. Similarly, before there arise 
in human nature and human institutions, changes having that 


permanence wHcli makes them an acquired inheritance for the 
human race, there must go innumerable recurrences of the 
thoughts, and feelings, and actions, conducive to such changes. 
The process cannot be abridged ; and must be gone through with 
due patience. 

Thus, admitting that for the fanatic some wild anticipation is 
needful as a stimulus, and recognizing the usefulness of his 
delusion as adapted to his particular nature and his particular 
function, the man of higher type must be content with greatly- 
moderated expectations, while he perseveres with undiminished 
efforts. He has to see how comparatively little can be done,, 
and yet to find it worth while to do thafc little : so uniting phi--- 
lanthropic energy with philosophic calm. 

D D 2 




^ Of various testimonies to this, one of the most striking was that given 
by Mr. Charles Mayo, M.B., of New College, Oxford, who, having had to 
examine the drainage of Windsor, found " that in a previous visitation of 
typhoid fever, the poorest and lowest part of the town had entirely escaped, 
while the epidemic had been very fatal in good houses. The difference 
was this, that while the better houses were all connected with the sewers, 
the poor part of the town had no drains, but made use of cesspools in the 
gardens. And this is by no means an isolated instance." 

2 Debates, Times, February 12, 1852. 

' Letter in Daily News, Nov. 28, 1851. 

* Recommendation of a Coroner's Jury, Times, March 26, 1850. 

* Revue des Deux Mondes, February 15, 1872. 
^ Journal of Mental Science, January, 1872. 

7 Boyle's Borneo, p. 116. 


^ Daily paper, January 22, 1849. 

- The Theocratic Philosophy of English History, vol. i. p. 49. 

3 xiiii^ vol. i. p. 289. 

•* Ibid., vol. ii. p. 681. 

^ La Main de VHomme et le Doigt de Dieil dans les malheurs de la 
France. Par J. C, Ex-aumonier dans I'armee auxiliaire. Paris, Dounio'' 
& Cie., 1871. 

* TJie Roman and the Teuton, pp. 339-40. 

406 NOTES. 

" SJiort Studies on Great Subjects, vol. i p. 11. 

^ Ibid., vol. i. p. 22 

' Ibid., vol, i. p. 24. 
'" Ibid., vol. i. p. 15. 
" History of England, vol. v. p. 70. 
'" Ibid., vol. V. p. 108. 
" Ibid., vol, V. p. 109, 
" (S/wri Studies on Great Subjects, p. 59. 
•' T/ie Limits of Exact Science as applied to History, p, 20. 
'^ IWd, p. 22, 

'7 ^^toii, Locke, new edition, preface, p, xxi. 
'* Ibid., pp, xxiii, xxiv. 
^' Ibid., preface (1854), p. xxvii. 


• Thomson's Netv Zealand, vol. i. p. 80, 

" Hallam's Middle Ages, ch. ix., part ii. 

^ Principles of Surgery. 5tli ed. p. 434. 

■* British and Foreign Medico-Cliirurgical Review, January, 1870, 
p. 103. 

5 Ibid. p. 106, 

® British Medical Journal, August 20th, 1870. I took the precaution 
of calling on Mr, Hutchinson to verify the extract given, and to learu 
from him what he meant by " severe." I foimd that he meant simply 
recognizable. He described to me the mode in which he had made his 
estimate ; and it was clearly a mode which tended rather towards 
exaggeration of the evil than otherwise. I also learned from him that 
in the great mass of cases those who have recognizable syphilitic taint 
pass lives that are but little impaired by it. 

^ A Treatise on Syphilis, by Dr. E, Lancereaux. Vol, ii. p. 120. 
This testimony I quote from the work itself, and have similarly taken 
from the original sources the statements of Skey, Simon, Wyatt, Acton, 
as well as the British and Foreign Medico-Cliirurgical Review and British 
Medical Journal. The rest, with various others, wUl be found in the 
pamphlet of Dr. C. B, Taylor on The Contagious Diseases Acts. 

^ Professor Sheldon Amos. See also his late important work, A 

NOTES. 407 

SijstemrMic View of the Science of Jurisprudence, pj). 119, 303, 512, 
and 514. 

' Quoted by Nasse, Hie Agricultural Community of the Middle Ages, 
&c., English, translation, p. 94. 

^^ In one case, " out of thirty married couples, there was not one man 
then livdng with his own wife, and some of them had exchanged wives 
two or three times since their entrance." This, along with various kin- 
dred illustrations, will be found in tracts on the Poor-Law, by a late uncle 
of mine, the Eev. Thomas Spencer, of Hinton Charterhouse, who was 
chairman of the Bath Union during its first six years. 


' Warton's History of English Poetry, vol. ii., p. 57, note. 

" Burton's Scinde, vol. ii., p. 13. 

^ Speke's Journal of Discovery of Source of the Nile, p. 85. 

* See pp. 79 and 127. 

* Summary of the Moral Statistics of England and Wales. By Joseph 
Fletcher, Esq., one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools. 

® Reeves's History of English Law, vol. i., pp. 34-36. Second edition. 

^ Brentano's Introduction to English Gilds, p. cxcv. 

^ Lubbock's Prehistoric Times, p. 344. First edition. 

' Mrs. Atkinson's Recollections of Tartar Ste]}pes, p. 220. 

'" Quoted in M'Lennan's Primitive Marriage, p. 187. 

" Burton's History of Sindh, p. 244. 

12 Wright's Essays on Archaeology, vol. ii., pj). 175-6. 

»3 Hid., vol. ii., p. 184. 

••• Only four copies of this psalter are known to exist. The copy from 
which I make this description is contained in the splendid collection of 
Mr. Henry Huth. 

'^ Kinder- und Hausmarchen, by "William and James Grimm. Larger 
edition (1870), pp. 140-2. 


' 51. Dunoyer, quoted in MUl's Political Economy. 
- Mill's Political Economy. 

408 NOTES. 

^ Mill's Political Economy. 

* Translation of Lanfrey's History of Napoleon the First, vol. ii., p. 25. 

* rbid., vol. ii., p. 442. 

* M. Lanfrey sets down the loss of the. French alone, from 1802 on- 
wards, at nearly two millions. This may be an over-estimate ; though, 
judging from the immense armies raised in France, such a total seems 
([uite i^ossihle. The ahove computation of the losses to European nations 
in general, has been made for me by adding up the numbers of killed and 
wounded in the successive battles, as furnished by such statements as 
are accessible. The total is 1,500,000. This number has to be greatly 
increased by including losses not specified — the number of killed and 
wounded on one side only, being given in some cases. It has to be 
further increased by including losses in numerous minor engagements, 
tlie particulars of which are unknown. And it has to be again increased 
by allowance for under-statement of his losses, which was habitual with 
Napoleon. Though the total, raised by these various additions probably 
to something over two millions, includes killed and woimded, from 
which last class a large deduction has to be made for the number who 
recovered ; yet it takes no account of the loss by disease. This may be 
set down as greater in amount than that which battles caused. (Thus, 
according to Kolb, the British lost in Sj)ain three times as many by- 
disease as by the enemy ; and in the expedition to "Walcheren, seventeen 
times as many.) So that the loss by killed and wounded and by disease, 
lor all the European nations during the Napoleonic campaigns, is pro- 
bably much understated at two millions. 

^ Burton's Goa, &c., p. 167. 

^ See Tweedie's System of Practical Medicine, vol. v. pp. 62—69. 

" Dr. Maclean : see Times, Jan. 6, 1873. 

^^ Report on the Progress and Condition of the Boyal Gardens at Kcir, 
1870, p, 5. 

^^ My attention was dra-\\Ti to this case by one who has had experience 
in vai'ious government services ; and he ascribed this obstructiveness in 
the medical service to the putting of young surgeons imder old. The 
remark is significant, and has far-reaching implications. Putting young 
officials under old is a rule of all services — civil, military, naval, or 
other ; and in all services, necessarily has the effect of placing the ad- 
vanced ideas and wider knowledge of a new generation, under control 
by the ignorance and bigotry of a generation to which change has be- 
come repugnant. This, which is a seemingly-ineradicable vice of public 

*• NOTES. 409 

organizations, is a vice to which private organizations are far less liable ; 
since, in the life-and-death struggle of competition, merit, even if young, 
takes the place of demerit, even if old. 

'- Let me here add what seems to be a not-impossible cause, or at any 
rate part-cause, of the failure. The clue is given by a letter in the 
Times, signed " Landowner," dating Tollesbury, Essex, Aug. 2, 1872. 
He bought " ten fine young steers, perfectly free from any symptom of 
disease," and " passed sound by the inspector of foreign stock." They 
were attacked by foot and mouth disease after five clays passed in fresh 
paddoclvs with the best food. On inquiry he found that foreign, stock, 
liowever healthy, " ' mostly all go down with it ' after the passage." 
And then, in proposing a remedy, he gives lis a fact of which he does 
not seem to recognize the meaning. He suggests, " that, instead of the 
present cpiarautine at Harwich, which consists in driving the stock from 
the steamer into pens for a limited number of hours," &c., &c. If this 
description of the quarantine is correct, the spread of the disease is 
accounted for. Every new drove of cattle is kept for hours in an infected 
pen. Unless the successive droves have been all healthy (which the 
very institution of the quarantine implies that they have not been) 
some of them have left in the pen diseased matter from their mouths 
and feet. Even if disinfectants are used after each occupation, the risk 
is great — the disinfection is almost certain to be inadeqi;ate. Nay, even 
if the pen is adequately disinfected every time, yet if there is not also a 
complete disinfection of the landing appliances, the landing-stage, and 
tlie track to the pen, the disease will be communicated. No wonder 
healthy cattle " ' mostly go down with it ' after the passage." The qua- 
rantine regulations, if they are such as here implied, might properly be 
called " regulations for the better diffusion of cattle-diseases." 

^^ Fischel's English Constitution, translated by Shee, p. 487. 

" See Eeport of the Committee on Public Accounts, nominated on 
7 Feb., 1873. 

^* Times, April 3, 1873 (I add this during the re-revision of these 
pages for permanent publication, as also the reference to the telegraph- 
expenditure. Hence the incongruities of the dates). 


' " Decline and Fall," &c., chap, ii. 

410 NOTES. 


* Burton's Abeokuta, vol. i. pp. 43, 44. 

2 Burton's History of Scotland, voL ii. pp. 281-2. 
^ I make this statement on the authority of a letter read to me at the 
time by an Indian officer, written by a brother oflBcer in India. 
■• Hawkesworth's Voyages, vol. i. p. 573. 

* Forster's Observations, &c., p. 406. 

^ Parkyns's Abyssinia, vol. ii. p. 431. 

' Cruickshank, Eighteen Years on tlie Gold Coast of Africa, vol. i. p. 100. 

^ Companions of Columbus, p. 115. 

9 Times, Jan. 22, 1873. 
i» Times, Dec. 23, 1872. 

" Lancet, Dec. 28, 1872. 

^^ Essays in Criticism, p. 12. 

'3 Times, Jan. 22, 1873. 

^* Most readers of logic will, I suppose, be surprised on missing from 
the above sentence the name of Sir W. Hamilton. They will not be 
more surprised than I was myself on recently learning that Mr. George 
Bentham's work, Outline of a New System of Logic, was published six 
years before the earliest of Sir W. Hamilton's logical writings, and that 
Sir W. Hamilton reviewed it. The case adds another to the multitu- 
dinous ones in which the world credits the wrong man ; and persists in 
crediting him in defiance of evidence. [In the number of the Contem- 
porary Review following that in which this note originally appeared. 
Professor Baynes, blaming me for my incaution in thus asserting Mr. 
Bentham's claim, contended for the claim of Sir W. Hamilton anil 
denied the validity of ]\Ir. Bentham's. The month after, the question 
was taken up by Professor Jevons, who, differing entirely from Professor 
Baynes, gave reasons for assigning the credit of the discovery to ^Ir. 
Bentham. Considering that Professor Baynes, both as pupil of Sir W. 
Hamilton and as expositor of his developed logical system, is obviously 
liable to be biassed in his favour, and that, contrariwise. Professor Jevons 
is not by his antecedents committed on behalf of either claimant, it may 
I think, be held that, leaving out other reasons, his opinion is the most 
trustworthy. Other reasons justify this estimate. The assumption that 
Sir W. Hamilton, when he reviewed Mr. Bentham's work, did not read 
as far as the page on which the discovery in question is indicated, though 

NOTES. 411 

admissible as a defence, cannot be regarded as a very satisfactory ground 
for a counter-claim. That in Mr. Bentham's work the doctrine is but 
briefly indicated, whereas by Sir W. Hamilton it was elaborately deve- 
loped, is an objection sufficiently met by pointing out that Mr. Bentham's 
work is an " Outline of a New System of Logic ; " and that in it he has 
said enough to show that if, instead of being led into another career, he 
had become a professional logician, the outline would have been ade- 
quately filled in. While these notes are still standing in type, 
Prof. Baynes has published (in the Contemporary Review for July, 1873) a 
rejoinder to Prof. Jevons. One who reads it critically may, I think, 
find in it more evidence against, than in favour of, the conclusion drawn. 
Prof. Baynes' partiality will be clearly seen on comparing the way in 
which he interprets Sir W. Hamilton's acts, with the way in which he 
interprets Mr. Bentham's acts. He thinks it quite a proper supposition 
that Sir W. Hamilton did not read the part of Mr. Bentham's work con- 
taining the doctrine in question. Meanwhile, he dwells much on the 
fact that during Sir W. Hamilton's life Mr. Bentham never made any 
claim ; saying — " The indifference it displays is incredible had Mr. 
Bentham really felt himself entitled to the honour publicly given to 
another : " the implication being that Mr. Bentham was of necessity 
cognizant of the controversy. Thus it is reasonable to suppose that Sir "W. 
Hamilton read only part of a work he reviewed on his ovra. special topic ; 
but " incredible " that ]\Ir. Bentham should not have read certain letters 
in the Athenmum! — the fact being that, as I have learnt from Mr. 
Bentham, he knew nothing about the matter till his attention was called 
to it. Clearly, such a way of estimating probabilities is not conducive 
to a fair judgment. Prof. Baynes' unfairness of judgment is, I think, 
sufficiently shown by one of his own sentences, in which he says of Mr. 
Bentham that, " while he constantly practises the quantification of the 
predicate, he never appears to have realized it as a principle." To an 
unconcerned observer, it seems a strong assumption that one who not 
only " constantly practises " the method, but who even warns the 
student against errors caused by neglect of it, should have no conscious- 
ness of the " prmciple" involved. And I am not alone in thinking this 
a strong assumption : the remark was made to me by a distinguished 
mathematician who was reading Prof. Baynes' rejoinder. But the 
weakness of Prof. Baynes' rejoinder is best shown by its inconsistency. 
Prof. Baynes contends that Sir W. Hamilton " had been acquainted 
with the occasional use of a quantified predicate by writers on logic " 

412 NOTES. 

earlier than Mr. Bentham ; and Prof. Baynes speaks of Mr. Bentham as 
having clone no more than many before him. But he also says of Sir 
"W. Hamilton that, " had he at the time, therefore, looked into Mr. 
Benthani's eighth and nintli chapters, the mere use of a quantified pre- 
dicate would have been no novelty to him, although, as I have said, it 
might have helped to stimulate his speculations on the subject." So 
that though ]\Ir. Bentham did not carry the doctrine further than pre- 
vious logicians had done, yet what he wrote about it was calculated " to 
stimulate" "speculations on the subject" in a way that they had not 
been stimulated by the writings of previous logicians. That is. Prof. 
Baynes admits in one part of his argimient what he denies in another. 
One further point only mil I name. Prof. Baynes says : — " Professor 
De Morgan's emphatic rejection of Mr. Bentham's claim, after examining 
the relevant chapters of his ' Outline,' is in strildng contrast to Mr. 
Herbert Spencer's easy-going acceptance of it." Now though, to many 
readers, this will seem a telling comparison, yet to those who know that 
Prof. De Morgan was one of the parties to the controversy, and had 
his own claims to establish, the comparison will not seem so telling. 
To me, however, and to many who have remarked the perversity of 
Prof. De Morgan's judgments, his verdict on the matter, even were 
he perfectly unconcerned, will go for but little. Whoever will take 
the trouble to refer to the AthencBum for November 5, 1864, p. 600, and 
after reading a sentence which he there quotes, will look at either the 
title of the chapter it is taken from or the sentence which succeeds it, 
will be amazed that such recklessness of misrepresentation could be 
shown by a conscientious man ; and will be thereafter but little inclined 
to abide by Prof. De Morgan's authority on matters like that here in 

^' These words are translated for me from Die Entidcklung der Nahir- 
loissenschaft in den Ictzen fUnfundzwanzig Jahren. By Professor Dr. Fer- 
dinand Cohn. Breslau, 1872. 

^® I am told that his reasons for this valuation are more fully given at 
p. 143. 

'^ Rev^le des Deux Mondes, 1 Fe^vrier, 1873, p. 731. 

1^ CEuvres de P. L. Courier (Paris, 1845), p. 304. 

^' Histoire des Sciences et des Savants, dbc. 

^^ Before leaving the question of Academies and their influences, let 
me call attention to a fact which makes me doubt whether as a judge of 
style, considered simply as correct or incorrect, an Academy is to 

NOTES. 413 

be trusted. Mr. Arnold, insisting on propriety of expression, and 
giving instances of bad taste among our writers, due, as he tbinks, to 
absence of Academic control, tacitly asserts that an Academy, if we had 
one, would condemn the passages he quotes as deserving condemnation, 
and, by implication, would approve the passages he quotes as worthy 
of ajDproval. Let us see to what Mr. Arnold awards his praise. He 
says : — 

' ' To illustrate what T mean by an example. Addison, writing as a moralist on 
fixedness in religious faith, says : — 

" ' Those who delight in reading books of controversy do very seldom arrive 
at a fixed and settled habit of faith. The doubt which was laid revives again, 
and shows itself in new difficulties ; and that generally for this reason, — 
because the mind, which is perpetually tossed in controvei'sies and disputes, is 
apt to forget the reasons which had once set it at rest, and to be disquieted with 
any former perplexity when it appears in a new shape, or is started by a diiferent 

" It may be said, that is classical English, perfect in lucidity, measure, and 
propriety. I make no objection ; but in my turn, I say that the idea expressed is 
perfectly trite and barren," &c., &c. 

In Mr. Arnold's estimate of Addison's thought I coincide entirely ; but 
I cannot join him in applauding the " classical English " conveying the 
thought. Indeed, I am not a little astonished that one whose taste in 
style is proved by his own writing to be so good, and who to his poems 
especially gives a sculpturesque finish, should have quoted, not simj^ly 
without condemnation but with tacit eulogy, a passage full of faults. Let 
us examine it critically, part by part. How shall we interpret 

into thought the words " arrive at a . . . habit " ? A habit is produced. 
But " arrival " imjjlies, not production of a thing, but coming up to a 
thing that pre-exists, as at the end of a journey. What, again, shall 
we say of the phrase, " a fijced and settled habit" 1 Habit is a course of 
action characterized by constancy, as distinguished from courses of action 
that are inconstant. If the word " settled " were rmobjectionable, we 
might define habit as a settled course of action; and on substituting 
for the word this equivalent, the phrase would read " a fixed and settled 
settled course of action." Obviously the word habit itself conveys the 
whole notion ; and if there needs a word to indicate degree, it should be 
a word suggesting foixe, not suggesting rest. The reader is to be im- 
pressed with the strength of a tendency in something active, not with the 
firmness of sometliing passive, as by the words " fixed and settled." And 

414 NOTES. 

then why " fixed aiid settled " ? Making no objection to the words as 
having inapplicable meanings, there is the objection that one of them 
would suffice : surely whatever is fixed must be settled. Passing 

to the next sentence, we are arrested by a conspicuous fault in its 
first clause — "The doubt which was laid revives again." To revive is 
to live again ; so that the literal meaning of the clause is " the doubt 
which was laid lives again again." In the following line there is 
nothing objectionable ; but at the end of it we come to another pleonasm. 
The words run : — " and that generally for this reason, — because the 
mind . . ." The idea is fully conveyed by the words, " and that 
generally because the mind." The words " for this reason " are eqiuvalent 
to an additional "because." So that we have here another nonsensical 
duplication. Going a little further there rises the question — Why " con- 
troversies and disputes " ? ' Dispute ' is given in dictionaries as one of 
the synonyms of * controversy ' ; and though it may be rightly held to 
have not quite the same meaning, any additional meaning it has does not 
aid, but rather hinders, the thought of the reader. Though, where special 
attention is to be drawn to a certain element of the thought, two almost 
s^Tionymous words may fitly be used to make the reader dwell longer on 
that element, yet where his attention is to be dra"mi to another element 
of the thought (as here to the efect of controversy on the mind), there is no 
gain, but a loss, in stopping him to interpret a second word if the first 
suffices. One more fault remains. The mind is said " to be disquieted 
with any former perplexity when it appears in a new shape, or is started 
by a difterent hand." This portion of the sentence is doubly defective. 
The two metaphors are incongruous. Appearing in a shape, as a ghost 
might be supposed to do, conveys one kind of idea ; and stai-ted by a 
hand, as a horse or a hoimd might be, conveys a conflicting kind of 
idea. This defect, however, is less serious than the other ; namely, the 
unfitness of the second metaphor for giving a concrete form to the 
abstract idea. How is it possible to ' start ' a perplexity ? ' Perplexity,' 
by derivation and as commonly used, involves the thought of entangle- 
ment and arrest of motion ; while to 'start' a thing is to set it in motion. 
So that whereas the mind is to be represented as enmeshed, and thus im- 
peded in its movements, the metaphor used to describe its state is one 
suggesting the freedom and rapid motion of that which enmeshes it. 

Even were these hyper-criticisms, it might be said that they are rightly 
to be made on a passage which is considered a model of style. But they 
are not hyper-criticisms. To show that the defects indicated are grave, 

NOTES. 415 

it only needs to read one of the sentences without its tautologies, thus : — 
" The doubt which was laid revives, and shows itself in new difficulties ; 
and that generally because the mind which is perpetually tossed in con- 
troversies is apt to forget the reasons which had once set it at rest" &c. &c. 
Omitting the six superfluous words unquestionably makes the sentence 
clearer — adds to its force without taking from its meaning. Nor would 
removal of the other excrescences, and substitution of appropriate words 
for those which are unfit, fail similarly to improve the rest of the passage. 
And now is it not strange that two sentences which Mr. Arnold admits 
to be " classical English, perfect in lucidity, measure, and propriety," 
should contain so many defects : some of them, indeed, deserving a 
stronger word of disapproval ? It is true that analysis discloses occasional 
errors in the sentences of nearly all. writers — some due to inadvertence, 
some to confusion of thought. Doubtless, from my own books examples 
could be taken ; and I should think it unfair to blame any one for now 
and then tripping. But in a passage of which the diction seems " per- 
fect" to one who would like to have style refined by authoritative 
criticism, we may expect entire conformity to the laws of correct expres- 
sion ; and may not unnaturally be surprised to find so many devia- 
tions from those laws. Possibly, indeed, it will be alleged that the 
i'aults are not in Addison's English, but that I lack the needful aesthetic 
perception. Having, when young, etfectually resisted that classical 
culture which Mr. Arnold thinks needful, I may be blind to the 
beauties he perceives ; and my undisciplined taste may lead me to con- 
demn as defects what are, in fact, perfections. Knowing absolutely nothing 
of the masterpieces of ancient literature in the original, and very little 
in translation, I suppose I must infer that a familiarity with them equal 
to Mr. Arnold's familiarity, would have given me a capacity for admiring 
these traits of style which he admires. Perhaps redimdauce of epithets 
would have afforded me pleasure ; perhaps I should have been delighted 
by duplications of meaning ; perhaps from inconsistent metaphors I 
might have received some now-unimaginable gratification. Being, 
however, without any guidance save that yielded by ]\Iental Science 
— having been led by analysis of thought to conclude that in ^vriting, 
words must be so chosen and arranged as to convey ideas with the 
greatest ease, precision, and vividness ; and liavmg drawn the corollaries 
that superfluous words should be struck out, that words which have 
associations at variance with the propositions to be set forth should be 
avoided, and that there should be used no misleading figures of speech ; 

416 NOTES. 

I liave acquired a dislike to modes of expression like these Mr. Arnold 
regards as perfect in their propriety. Almost converted though I have 
been by his eloquent advocacy of Culture, as he understands it, I must 
confess that, now I see what he applauds, my growing faith receives a 
rude check. While recognizing my unregenerate state, and while ad- 
mitting that I have only Psychology and Logic to help me, I am per- 
verse enough to rejoice that we have not had an Academy ; since, 
judging from the evidence Mr. Arnold affords, it would, among other 
mischievous acts, have further raised the estimate of a style which even 
now is unduly praised. 

-1 Culture and Anarchy, p. 16. 

" Ibid., pp. 130—140. 


' Shortly after the first publication of this chapter, I met -w-ith a 
kindred instance. At a Co-operative Congress : — " Mr. Head (of the firm 
of Fox, Head, & Co., Middlesbrough) * * * remarked that he had 
thrown his whole soul during the last six years into the carrying out of 
the principle involved in the Industrial Partnership at Middlesbrough 
with which he was connected. In that Industrial PartnershiiJ there was 
at present no arrangement for the workmen to invest their sa\'ings. A 
clause to give that opportunity to the workmen was at first put into the 
articles of agreement, but, as there was only one instance during three 
years of a workman under the firm applying to invest his savings, that 
clause was withdrawn. The firm consequently came to the conclusion 
that this part of their scheme was far ahead of the time." — Times, April 
15, 1873. 


^ Froude, Sliort Studies on Great Subjects, Second Series, 1871, p. 480. 

- Ibid., p. 483. 

3 Ibid., pp. 483-4. 

•* Daily papers, Feb. 7, 1873. 

^ Times and Post, Feb. 11, 1873. 

NOTES. 417 

6 Times, Nov. 25, 1872. 

? Ibid., Nov. 27, 1872. 

* Craik, in Pict. Hist., vol. iv., p. 853. 

76id., vol. iv., p. 853. 

'" When, in dealing with the vitiation of evidence, I before referred 
to the legislation here named, I commented on the ready acceptance of 
those one-sided statements made to justify such legislation, in contrast 
with the contempt for those multitudinous proofs that gross abuses would 
inevitably result from the arrangements made. Since that passage was 
written, there lias been a startUug justification of it. A murder has been 
committed at Lille by a gang of sham-detectives (one being a govern- 
ment employe); and the trial has broaght out the fact that for the last 
three years the people of Lille have been subject to an organized ter- 
rorism which has grown out of the system of prostitute-inspection. 
Though, during these three years, five hundred women are said by one 
of these criminals to have fallen into their clutches — though the men 
have been blackmailed and the women outraged to this immense extent, 
yet the practice went on for the reason (obvious enough, one would have 
have thoughtj to need no proof by illustration) that those aggrieved 
preferred to submit rather than endanger their characters by complain- 
ing ; and the practice would doubtless have gone on still but for the 
murder of one of the victims. To some this case will carry conviction : 
probably not, however, to those who, in pursuance of what they are 
pleased to call " practical legislation," prefer an induction based on a 
Blue Book to an induction based on Universal History. 

" See case in Times, Dec. 11, 1872. 


* Journey through Central and Eastern Arabia, vol. ii. p. 370. 
2 Ibid., vol. ii. p. 22. 

2 Lubbock's Prehistoric Times. Second edition, -p. 442. 
^ Journey through Central and Eastern Arabia, vol. ii. p. 11. 
' Five Years^ liesidence at NejMul. By Capt. Thomas Smith. Vol. 
p. 168. 

418 NOTES. 


* Probably most readers ■will conclude that in this, and in the preced- 
ing section, I am simply carrying out the views of Mr. Darwin in their 
applications to the human race. Under the circumstances, perhaps, I 
shall be excused for pointing out that the same beliefs, otherwise ex- 
pressed, are contained in Chapters XXV. and XXVIII. of Social Statics, 
published in December, 1850 ; and that they are set forth still more 
definitely in the Westminster Review for April, 1852 (pp. 498 — 500). 
As Mr. Darwin himself points out, others before him have recognized 
the action of that jjrocess he has called " Natural Selection," but have 
failed to see its full significance and its various effects. Thus in the 
Eeview-article just named, I have contended that " this inevitable re- 
dundancy of numbers — this constant increase of people beyond the 
means of subsistence," necessitates the continual carrj-iug-off of *' those 
in whom the power of self-preservation is the least;" that all being 
subject to the " increasing difficulty of getting a living which excess of 
fertility entails," there is an average advance under the pressure, since 
" only those who do advance under it eventually survive ;" and that these 
"must be the select of their generation." There is, however, in the 
essay from which I here quote, no recognition of what Mr. Darwin calls 
" spontaneous variation," nor of that divergence of type which this natural 
selective process is shown by him to produce. 

- And even then there are often ruinous delays. A barrister tells me 
that in a case in which he was liimseK the referee, they had but six 
meetings in two years. 


^ " The Statistics of Legislation," read before the Statistical Society, 
May, 1873, by Frederick H. Janson, Esq., F.L.S., vice-president of the 
Incorporated Law Society. 

■^ Among recent illustrations of the truth that frequent repetition of 
Christian doctrines does not conduce to growth of Christian feelings, 
here are two that seem worth preserving. The first I quote from The 
Church Herald for ilay 14, 1S73. 

:notes. 419 

" Mr. J. Stuart Mill, who has just gone to his account, would luive 
been a remarkable writer ol' English, if his innate self-consciousness and 
abounding self-confidence had not made him a notorious literary 
lii'ig. ***** His death is no loss to anybody, for he was a 
rank but amiable infidel, and a most dangerous person. The sooner 
those ' lights of thought,' who agree with him, go to the same place, 
the better it will be for both Church and State." 

The second, which to an English manifestation of sentiment yields 
a parallel from America, I am permitted to publish by a friend to whom 
it was lately addressed : — 

" (From a Clergyman of 28 years'' service.) 

" U.S. America, March 10th, 1873. 

" J. Tyndall, — How it ought to ' heap coals of fire on your head,' 
that, in return for your insults to their Religion, in your various works, 
the American people treated you A\ith distinguished consideration. You 
have repeatedly raised your puny arm against God and His Chiist ! 
You have endeavoured to deprive mankind of its only consolation in 
life, and its only hope in death {vide ' Fragments of Science,' &c.), with- 
out offering anything instead, but the ' dry-light ' of your molecules and 
atoms. Shall we praise you for this ? We praise you not ! 

" ' Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee ? ' 

" Every suicide in our land (and they are of daily occurrence) is in- 
directly the effect of the bestial doctrines of yourself, Darwin, Spencer 
Huxley, et id omne genus. 

" ' The pit is digged up for you all ? ' 

" ' Woe unto you that laugh now, for ye shall mourn and lament.' 
" With the supremest contempt, I remain, 

"A. F. F ." 

^ To show how little operative on conduct is mere teaching, let 
me add a striking fact that has fallen under my own observation. 
Some twelve years ago was commenced a serial publication, grave and 
tmiuteresting to most, and necessarily limited in its circulation to the 
well-educated. It was issued to subscribers, from each of whom a small 
sum was dvie for every four numbers. As was to be expected, the noti- 
fication, periodically made, that another subscrijition was due, received 
from some prompt attention ; from others an attention more or less 
tardy ; and from others no attention at all. The defaulters, from time 
to time reminded by new notices, fell, many of them, two subscriptions 

420 NOTES. 

in arrear ; but after receiving from the puMisiers letters intimating 
the fact, some of these rectified what was simply a result of forgetful- 
iiess : leaving, however, a number wlio still went on receiving the 
serial without paying for it. When were three subscriptions in 
arrear, further letters from the pulilishers, drawing their attention to 
the facts, were sent to them, bringing from some the amounts 
due, but leaving a remainder who continued to disregard the claim. 
Eventually these received from the publishers intimations that their 
names would be struck off for non-payment ; and such of them as con- 
tinued insensible were at length omitted from the list. After a lapse 
of ten years, a digest was made of the original list, to ascertain the ratio 
between the number of defaulters and the total number ; and to ascer- 
tain, also, the ratios borne by their numbers to the numbers of their 
respective classes. Those who had thus finally declined paying for what 
they had year after year received, constituted the following per- 
centages : — 

Subscribers of unknown status . . . .27 per cent. 

Physicians 29 „ 

Clergymen (mostly of the Established Church) .31 ,, 
Secularists ....... 32 „ 

Journalists ....... 82 „ 

Admitting that the high percentage among the journalists may havo 
been due to the habit of receiving gratis copies of books, we have to 
note, first of all, the surprising fact that nearly one-third of these highly 
educated men were thus regardless of an equitable claim. Further, on 
comparing the subdivisions, we discover that the class imdistinguished 
by titles of any kind, and therefore including, as we must suppose, those 
whose education, though good, was not the highest, furnished the 
smallest percentage of defaulters : so far as the evidence goes, it asso- 
ciates increase of intellectual culture with decrease of conscientiousness. 
And then one more thing to be noted is the absence of that beneficial 
eft'ect expected from repetition of moral precepts : the Clergy and the 
Secularists are nearly on a level. So that, both in general and in detail, 
this evidence, like the evidence given in the text, is wholly at variance 
with the belief that addressing the intellect develops the higher sentiments. 

"• Even after the reform of the Poor-Law, this punislmient for good 
behaviour was continued. Illustrations will be found in the before- 
mentioned Tracts on the Poor-Laws, by a late uncle of mine — illustra- 

NOTES. 421 

tions that came under his personal observation as clergpnan and as 

^ The comparisons ordinarily made between the minds of men and 
women are faulty in many ways, of whicli these are fhe chief : — 

Instead of comparing either the average of women with the average 
of men, or the elite of women with the elite of men, the common course 
is to compare the elite of women with the average of men. Much the 
same erroneous impression results as would result if the relative statures 
of men and women were judged by putting very tall women side by side 
with ordinary men. 

Sundry manifestations of nature in men and women, are greatly per- 
verted by existing social conventions upheld by both. There are 
feelings which, under our predatory regime, with its adapted standard 
of propriety, it is not considered manly to show; but which, contrari- 
wise, are considered admirable in women. Hence repressed manifesta- 
tions in the one case, and exaggerated manifestations in the other ; lead- 
ing to mistaken estimates. 

The sexual sentiment comes into play to modify the behaviour of 
men and women to one another. Respecting certain parts of their 
general characters, the only evidence which can be trusted is that fur- 
nished by the conduct of men to men, and of women to women, when 
placed in relations which exclude the personal affections. 

In comparing the intellectual powers of men and women, no proper 
distinction is made between receptive faculty and originative faculty. 
The two are scarcely commensurable ; and the receptivity may, and 
frequently does, exist in high degree where there is but a low degree of 
originality, or entire absence of it. 

Perhaps, however, the most serious error usually made in drawing 
these comparisons is that of overlooking the limit of normal mental 
power. Either sex under special stimulations is capable of manifest- 
ing powers ordinarily shown only by the other; but we are not to 
consider the deviations so caused as affording proper measures. Thus, 
to take an extreme case, the mammae of men will, under special excita- 
tion, yield milk : there are various cases of gynsecomasty on record, 
and in famines infants whose mothers have died have been thus saved. 
But this ability to yield milk, which, when exercised, must be at the 
cost of masculine strength, we do not count among masculine attributes. 
Similarly, under special discijdine, the feminine intellect will yield 
products higher than the intellects of most men can yield. But we are 

42:Z NOTES. 

not to count this productivity as truly feminine if it entails decreased 
fulfilment of the maternal functions. Only that mental energy is 
normally feminine which can coexist w^th the production and nursing 
of the due number of healthy children. Obviously a power of mind 
which, if general among the women of a society, would entail disappear- 
ance of the society, is a power not to be included in an estimate of the 
feminine nature as a social factor. 

^ Of course it is to be understood that in this, and in the succeeding 
statements, reference is made to men and women of the same society, in 
the same age. If women of a more-evolved race are compared with 
men of a less-evolved race, the statement will not be true. 

' As the validity of this group of inferences depends on the occur- 
rence of that partial limitation of heredity of sex here assumed, it may 
be said that I should furnish j^roof of its occurrence. Were the place fit, 
this might be done. I might detail evidence that has been collected 
showin" the much greater liability there is for a parent to bequeath 
malformations and diseases to children of the same sex, than to those 
of the opposite sex. I might cite the multitudinous instances of sexual 
distinctions, as of plumage in birds and colouring in insects, and 
especially those marvellous ones of dimorphism and polymorphism among 
females of certain species of Lepidoptera, as necessarily implying (to those 
who accept the Hypothesis of Evolution) the predominant transmission of 
traits to descendants of the same sex. It will suffice, however, to 
instance, as more especially relevant, the cases of sexual distinctions 
within the human race itself, which have arisen in some varieties 
and not in others. That in some varieties the men are bearded and in 
others not, may be taken as strong evidence of this partial limitation 
of heredity ; and perhaps still stronger evidence is yielded by that 
peculiarity of feminine form found in some of the negro races, and 
especially the Hottentots, which does not distinguish to any such extent 
the women of other races from the men. There is also the fact, to 
which Agassiz draws attention, that among the South American Indians 
males and females differ less than they do among the negroes and the 
hioher races ; and this reminds us that among European and Eastern 
nations the men and women differ, both bodily and mentally, not quite 
in the same ways and to the same degrees, but in somewhat different 
ways and degrees — a fact which would be inexplicable were there no 
partial limitation of heredity by sex. 

NOTES. 423 


' History of Greece, vol. i. p. 498. 

2 Ibid. vol. i. p. 466. 

^ Morning Post, May 15, 1872. 

^ In the appendix to his republished address, Mr. Gladstone, in illus- 
tration of the views he condemns, refers to that part of First Principles 
v/hich, treating of the reconciliation of Science and Religion, contends 
that this consists in a united recognition of an Ultimate Cause which, 
though ever present to consciousness, transcends knowledge. Comment- 
ing on this view, he says : — " Still it vividly recalls to mind an old 
story of the man who, wishing to be rid of one who was in his house, 
said, ' Sir, tliere are two sides to my house, and we will divide them ; 
you shall take the outside.' " This seems to me by no means a happily- 
chosen simile ; since it admits of an interpretation exactly opposite 
to the one Mr. Gladstone intends. Tlie doctrine he combats is that 
Science, unable to go beyond the outsides of things, is for ever debarred 
from reaching, and even from conceiving, the Power witiiin them ; and 
this being so, the relative positions of Religion and Science may be well 
represented by inverting the application of his figure. 

* Since the first edition of this volume was issued, there has apj^eared, 
in the Contemporary Review for December, 1873, the following letter, 
addressed by Mr. Gladstone to the Editor : — 

" 10, Downing Street, Whitehall, 
" Nov. 3, 1873. 

" Mr DEAR Sir, — I observe in the Contemporar?/ Revieio for October 
p. 670, that the following words are quoted from an address of mine at 
Liverpool : — 

" ' Upon the ground of what is termed evolution, God is relieved of 
the labour of creation : in the name of unchangeable laws he is dis- 
charged from governing tlie world.' 

" The distinguished writer in the Review says that by tliese words I 
have made myself so conspicuously the champion (or exponent) of the 
g,nti -scientific view, that the words may be regarded as typical. 

"To go as directly as may be to my point, I consider this judgment 
\ipon my declaration to be founded on an assmnption or belief that it 
contains a condemnation of evolution, and of the doctrine of unchauge- 

424 NOTES. 

able laws. I submit that it contains no such thing. Let me illustrate 
by saying, What if I wrote as follows : — 

" ' Upon the ground of what is termed liberty, flagrant crimes have 
been committed : and (likewise) in the name of law and order, human 
rights have been trodden under foot.' 

" I should not by thus writing condemn liberty, or condemn law and 
order ; Isut condemn only the inferences that men draw, or say they 
draw, from them. Up to that point the parallel is exact : and I hope 
it will be seen that ]\Ir. Spencer has inadvertently put upon my words 
a meaning they do not bear. 

" Using the parallel thus far for the sake of clearness, I carry it no 
farther. For while I am ready to give in my adhesion to liberty, and 
likewise to law and order, on evolution and on unchangeable laws I had 
rather be excused. 

" The words with which I think Madame de Stael ends Corinne, are 
the best for me : — Je ne veux ni la hldmer, ni Vabsoudre. Before I could 
presume to give an opinion on evolution, or on unchangeable laws, I 
should wish to know more clearlj' and more fully than I yet know, the 
meaning attached to those phrases by the chief apostles of the doctrines ; 
and very likely even after accomj^lishing this preliminary stage, I might 
find myself insufficiently supplied with the knowledge required to di'aw 
the line between true and false. 

" I have then no repugnance to any conclusions whatever, legitimately 
arising upon well-ascertained facts or well-tested reasonings : and my 
complaint is that the functions of the Almighty as Creator and Governor 
of the world are denied upon grounds, which, whatever be the extension 
given to the phrases I have quoted, appear to me to be utterly and mani- 
festly insufficient to warrant such denial. 

" I am desirous to liberate myself from a supposition alien, I think, to 
my whole habits of mind and life. But I do not desire to effect this 
by the method of controversy ; and if Mr. Spencer does not see, or does 
not think, that he has mistaken the meaning of my words, I have no 
more darts to throw ; and Avill do myself, indeed, the pleasure of con- 
cluding with a frank avowal that his manner of liandling what he must 
naturally consider to be a gross piece of folly is as far as possible from 
being offensive. . 

" Believe me, 

" Most faithfully yours, 

"V. E. Gladstone." 

NOTES. 42 5 

Mr. Gladstone's explanation of his own meanincr mu>t, of course, be 
accepted ; and, inserting a special reference to it in the stereotype-plate, 
I here append his letter, that the reader may not be misled l)y my 
comments. Paying due. respect to Mr. Gladstone's wish to avoid con- 
troversy, I will say no more here than seems needful to excnse myself 
for having misconstrued his words. " Evolution," as I understand 
it, and " creation," as usually understood, are mutually exclusive : if 
there has been that special formation and adjustment commonly meant 
by creation, there has not been evolution ; if there has been evolution, 
there has not been special creation. Similarly, unchangeable laws, as 
conceived by a man of science, negative the current conception of divine 
government, which implies interferences or special providences : if tlie 
laws are unchangeable, they are never traversed by divine volitions 
suspending them ; if God alters the predetermined course of things 
i'rom time to time, the laws are not unchangeable. I assumed that 
Mr. Gladstone used the terms in these mutually-exclusive senses ; but 
my assumption appears to have been a wrong one. This is manifest to 
me on reading what he instances as parallel antitheses ; seeing that the 
terras of his parallel antitheses are not mutually exclusive. That whicli 
excludes " liberty," and is excluded by it, is desjiotism ; and that which 
excludes " law and order," and is excluded by them, is anarchy. Were 
these mutually-exclusive concej^tions used, Mr. Gladstone's parallel 
would be transformed thus : — 

" Upon the ground of what is termed liberty, there has been rebellion 
against desjiotism : and (likewise) in the name of law and order, anarchy 
has been striven against." 

As this is the parallel Mv. Gladstone would have dra^vu had the 
words of his statement been used in the senses I supposed, it is clear 
that I misconceived the meanings he gave to them ; and I must, there- 
fore, ask the reader to be on his guard against a kindred miscon- 

[In the earlier-sold copies of the second edition of this volume, there 
here followed a paragraph, one part of which was based upon an absurd 
misconstruction of the second sentence contained in the first of the two 
passages quoted from Mr. Gladstone— a misconstruction so absurd, that, 
when my attention was drawn to it, I could scarcely believe I hadmatle 
it, until reference to the passage itself proved to me that I had. I am 
greatly annoyed that careless reading should have betrayed me into 

F F 

426 NOTES. 

Fuch a mistake ; fviid I apolo^^ize for having given some currency to the 
resulting niisn'presentation. 

In a letter rel'erring to this niisre])resentation, Mr. Gladstone expresses 
his regret that liis letter to the Contemporary Review did not explicitly 
';nibrace both the passages I quoted from him ; and he adds that in his 
opinion, tiiere is " no conflict between the doctrine of Providence and 
llie doctrine of unil'onu laws." My description of his view as anti- 
scientific, the reader must therefore take with the qualification that Mr. 
Gladstone does not regard it as involving the alleged antagonisui.] 


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History of the Organisation, Equipment, and War Seii'ices of 

Published Official and otlier Records, and various private sources, by Major Francis 
W. Stubbs, Koyal (late Bengal) Artillery. Vol. I. will contain War Services. The 
Second Volume will be published separately, and will contain the History of the 
Organisation .\.\'d Equipment of the Regiment. In 2 vols. 8vo. With Maps 
and Plans. {Preparing. 

VICTORIES AND DEFEATS. An Attempt to explain the Causes which 
h.-ive led to them. An Officer's Manual. By Col. E. P. Anderson. 8vo. i+r. 

"The young officer sliould have it always at 
h.ind to open anywhere ami read a hit, anti we 
w arrant him that let that hit be ever so small it 
will give him material for an hour's thinkinsf." — 
United Service Gttzctte. 

"The present liook proves that he i> a diliijent 
student of military history, his illustrations rangint,' 
over .a wide field, and including ancient and mo- 
dern Indian and European warfare." — Standard. 


Instructor of 'J'actics at the Military College. Nei.ssc. Translated by Colonel 
Ed"ward Newdigate. Crown Svo, limp cloth. Price ■2S. 6ti. 

" An e.\ceedingly useful kind of book. A valu- 1 plains how these were modified in the course of 
able" acquisition to the military student's library, the campal;;n by the terrible and imanticipated 
It recounts, in the first place, the opinions and effect of the fire; and how, accordingly, troops 
tactical formations which regulated the German j should be trained to att.tck in future wars." — .\'az-ti^ 
army during the early battles of the late war ; ex- | a>id .Military Gazette. 


AND SKETCHING. Compiled fur Xon-Commissioncd Officers and Soldiers of all 
Arms. By Lietlt. C. E. H, Vincent, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Square or. Svo. is. td, 

"This manual takes into view the necessity of 
every soldier knowing how to read a militarj' map, 
in C'rder to know to what points in ;m enemy's 
comitry to direct his attention ; and provides for 
this necessity by giving, in terse and sensible 

languatre. definitions of varieties of jjround and the 
ad\cuitai;e5; they present in -n-rirfare, to^'cther witli 
;i number of useful hints in military sketching." — 
Xavai nttd Military Cf.zctte, 


V.C, M.F. 

The Ap.olition of Pl'rck.^se and the 1 Army Reserves and Militia 
Army Regiilation Bill OF 1871. Crown I Cro^n Svo. Sewed. Price One Shilhng. 

Svo. Price One Shilling. I The Story of the Sl'ferskssions. Crown 

I Svo. Price Sixpence. 

By Major "W. von SclierfF. Translated from the German by Colonel JL'uniley 
Crraham. Demy Svo. Price 7^-. &/. 

mirably treated ; indeed, wc cannot but consider 
it to be decidedly superior to any work which has 

" The subject of the resjiective advantages of 
attack and defence, and of the methods in which 
each form of battle should be carried nut imdcr 
the fire of modern arms, is exhaustively and ad- 

hitherto appeared in English upon this all-import- 
ant subject." — Standard. 

Second Edition. Revised and Corrected. 
Captain A. von Bog-usla-wski. 'JVansIated by Colonel Lumley Graham, 
late iSth I Royal Irish) Regiment. Demy Svo. Uniform with the above. Price 7.?. 

"We must, without delay, impress brain and I the German Armies" and "Tactical Deductions") 
forethought into the British Service ; and we can- we li.a\ e here criticised in every military library, 
luit commence the good work too soon, or better, and introducing them as class-books in every tac- 
than by placing the two b6oks (' The Operations of I tical sc\\oa\."—V>iited Service Cazttte. 

65, Cornhill ; 6^ 12, Paternoster Roiv, London. 

Works Published by Henry S. King 6^ Co., 

Military Works — conliitucd. 

AND FEBRUAKY, 1871. Compiled from the Official War Documents of ilie Head- 
quarters of the Southern Army. By Count Hermann von Wartensleben, 
Colonel in the Prussian General Staff. Translated by Colonel C. H. von Wright. 
Demy Svo, with Maps. Uniform with the above. Price 6^-. 


A Erief Description of its Organization, of the difterent Branches of the Service, and 
their '*Role" in War, of its Mode of Fighting, &c. By a Pi-ussian General. 
Translated from the German by Col. Ed'ward Newdigrate. Demy ovo. Price is. 

" The work is quite essentiul to the full use of 
the other volumes of the ' German Military Series,' 
which Messrs. King are now producing in hand- 
some uniform style." — United Service Magazine. 

"Every page of the book deserves attentive 

study .... The mformation given on mobilisation, 
garrison troopb, keeping up estabhshment during 
war, and on the erajjloynient of the different 
branches of the service, is of great value." — 


FROM SEDAN TO THE END OF THE WAR OF 1870-71. With large 
Official Map. From the Journals of the Head-quarters Staff, by Major "William 
Blume. Translated by E. M. Jones, Major 20th Foot^ late Professor of Military 
History, Sandhurst. Demy Svo. Price 9^-. 

"The book is of absolute necessity to the mili- 
tary student .... The work is one of high merit," 
— United Service Gazette. 

*■' The work of Major von Blume in its English 
dress forms the most valuable addition to our stock 

of works upon thewar that our press has put forth. 
Our space forbids our doing more than commend- 
ing it earnestly as the most authentic and instruc- 
tive narrative of the second section of the war that 
has yet appeared." — Saturday Kcviciv. 

by liieut. Charles A. Empson, K. 

" A valuable contribution to military literature." 1 

" In seven short chapters it gives plain directions ' 
for forming shelter-trenches, with the best method 
of carrying the necessary tools, and it offers prac- 
tical illustrations of the use of hasty intrenchments I 
on the field of battle." — United Serzice Mag-azi?ie. \ 

Colonel A, Brialmont. Translated 
,A, With Nine Plates. Demy Svo. Price 65". 

" It supplies that which our own text-books give 
but imperfectly, vi^., hints as to how a position can 
best be strengthened by means . . . of such extem- 
porised intrenchments and batteries as can be 
thrown up by infantry in the space of four or five 
hours . . . deserves to become a standard military 
work." — Standard. 

Vernois. An authorised and accurate Translation by Lieutenant H. J. T. 
Hild yard, 71st Foot. Parts I. and II. Demy Svo. Price 75. 

observant and fortunately-placed staff-olTicer is in 
a position to give. I have read and re-read them 
very carefully, I hope with profit, cert.iinly with 
great interest, and believe that practice, in the 
sense of these ' Studies,' would be a valuable pre- 
paration for manoeuvres on a more extended 
scale." — Berlin, June, 1872. 

*.* General BE.VUCHAMP WALKER says of 1 
this work : — " I recommend the first two numbers 
of Colonel von Verdy's ' Studies ' to the attentive 
perusal of my brother officers. They supply a 
\vant which I have often felt during my service in 
this country, namely, a minuter tactical detail of 
the minor operations of war than any but the most | 

CAVALRY FIELD DUTY. By Major-General von IVIirus. Translated 
by Captain Px'ank S. Russell, i4tli (King's Hussars. Cr. Svo, cloth limp, 7^. 6tf. 

*' We have no book on cavalry duties that at all I 
approaches to this, either for completeness in 
details, clearness in description, or for manifest | 
utihty. In its pages will be found plain instructions i 
for every portion of duty before the enemy that a I 
combatant horseman will be called upon to per- ' 
form, and if a dragoon but studies it well and , 

intelligently, his value to the army, we are confi- 
dent, mu^t be increased one hundredfold. Skir- 
mishing-, scouting, patroll ng, and vedetling are 
now tbc- chief duties dragoons in peace should be 
practised at, and how to perform these duties 
etfectively is what the book teaclies." — United 
Serz'ice Magazine. 

DISCIPLINE AND DRILL. Four Lectures delivered to the Loudon 
Scottish Rifle Volunteers. Ry Captain S. Flood Page. New and Cheaper 
Edition. Crown Svo, cloth, limp. Price li. 

interesting work." — I " An admirable collection of lectures." — Times. 

65, Cornhill ; 6^ 12, Paternoster Po7C', London. 

14 Works Published by Henry S. King 6^ Co., 



Met, and the Rkcurkence of Famines in India Pkk\ented. Being No. i uf 
" Occasional Notes on Indian Affairs." Ky Sir H. Bartle E. Frere, G.C.B., 
G.C.S.I., &C. &C. Crown 8vo. With 3 Maps. Prices.?. 

5 Volumes, in 2 Volumes, demy 8vo. Price 28.f. 

" Lovers of sport will find ample amusement in 
the varietl contents of these two volumes." — yt lien's 
l-.idinn Mail. 

" l*'ull of interest for the sjiortsman and natural- 
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have attacked the fiercest and most fjigantic 

Second Edition, Revised and Corrected. 
THE EUROPEAN IN INDIA. A Hand-book of Practical Information 

for those proceeding to, or residing in, the East Indies, relating to Outfits, Routes, 
Time for Departure, Indian Climate, &c. By EdmuJld C. P. Hull, With a 
Medical Guide for Anglo-Ixdiaxs. Being a Compendium of Advice to Europeans 
in India, relating to the Preservation and Regulation of Health. By R. S. ISffair, 
ISiI.D., F.R.C.S.E,, late Deputy Coroner of Madras. In i vol. Post 8vo. Price 6y. 

specimens of the animal world in their n.itivc 
jungle. It is seldom we get so many exciting inci- 
dents in a similar amount of space . . . Well suited 
to the libraries of country gentlemen anc! all those 
who arc interested in sporting matters. '—Civil S 
Service Gazette, 

' Full of all sorts of useful information to the 
En^jHsh settler or traveller in India." — Sta>idarit 

"One of the most valuable books ever jtublislied 
in India — valuable for its sound information. it.s 
careful array of pertinent facts, and its sterling 

common sense. It supplies a want whicli 
persons may have discovered, I lit which everybo 
will at once recognise when once the contents 
the book have been mastered. The medical |>art 
of the work is invaluable." — CttUittta Cuardia 


pendium of Advice to Europeans in India, relatina: to the Preservation and Regulation 
of Health. By R. S. Mair, M.D., F.R.C.S.E., late Deputy Coroner of Madras. 
Reprinted, with a Supplement on the Management of Children in India, from '" The 
European in India." Cr. 8vo, limp cloth. Price 3.?. (xi. 

EASTERN EXPERIENCES. By L. Bowring:, C.S.I., Lord Canning's 
Private Secretary, and for many years Chief Conimis.sioner of Mysore and Coorg. 
Illustrated with Maps and Diagrams. Demy Svo. Price i6.f. 

"An admirable aj\d exhaustive jifeographical, " Tliis compact and methodical summary of tlic 

political, anil Industrial survey." — Athenieiim. most authentic information relating to countries 

" Interestinjf even to the gfeneral reader, but whose welfare is intimately connected with our 

especially so to those who may have a special con- own." — Daily \nc.:. 
tein in th.U purtinu of our Indian Iimpirc." — Post. 

TAS-HIL UL KALAM; or, Hindustani Made Easy. By Captain 

W. E. M. Holroyd, Bengal Staff Corps, Director of Public Instruction, I'unjab. 
Crown Svo. Price 5^-. 

*' As clear and as instructive as possible." — 1 mation. that is not to be found in any other work 
StiTiidard. on the subject that has crossed our path." — Hctue. 

" Contains a great deal of most necessary mfor- 1 ivard Afntl. 


FOR INDIA. Edited by J. S. Laurie, of the Inner Temple. I^arristcr-at-Law ; 
formerly H.M. Inspector of Schools, England : Assist.ant Royal Commissioner, Ireland ; 
Special Commissioner, African Settlement ; Director of Public Instruction, Ceylon. 

"These valuable little works will prove of real I who intend entering the Civil Service of India."— 
service to many of our readers, especially to those I Civil Ser^u'cc iiazt^h'. 

The foUcmnng Works arc notv ready : — 

^. (f. I .5. d. 


READER, stiff linen wrapper . .06 Maps and Historical Appendix, j 

THE SECOND HINDUSTANI | tracing the growth of the British 

READER, stiff linen wrapper . .061 Empire in Hindustan. 128 pp. cloth i 6 
/// the Press. 

HISTORY, in a series of alternating 
Reading Lessons and Memory Exercises. 


65, Cornliill ; (5>» 12, Paternoster Roru, London. 

Works Published by Henry S. King c?' Co., 15 

India and the East — contimu-d. 

Second Edition. 


Pictures drawn from life. T>y Major-Gen, Sir Georgre Le Grand Jacob, 
K.C.S.I., C.B. In I vol. Crown 8vo. Price 7^. GL 

' Tlic most important contribution to the Iiistory 
of Western India during the Mutinies which has 
yet, in a popular form, been made pubHc." — 

Few men more competent than himself to speak 
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CURRENCY, rrriN a new and extended system, embracing Values from One 
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AUNT MARY'S BRAN PIE. By the Author of " St. Olave's,'' "When I 

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With Four Illustratior.s. Price 3.?. 6d. 

Contents.— Seeking his Fortune. — Oluf and Stephanoff. — What's in a Name? — 
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I. Elsie Dinsmore. Cr. Svo. Price 3J. 6d. I III. Elsie's Holidavs at Roselands. 
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THE LITTLE WONDER-HORN. By Jean Ing-elow. A Second 

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Mali Gazette. I 

65, CornJiiil ; i!> 12, Paternoster Ro7u, London. 

1 6 JVorks Published by Henry S. King 6^ Co., 

Books for the Young and for Lending Libraries — continued. 

Second Edition. 
THE AFRICAN CRUISER. A Midshipman's Adventures on the West 
Coast. A Book for Boys. I!y S. Whitcliurch Sadler, E.N. , Author of 
"Marshall Vavasour." With Three Illustrations. Crown 8vo. Price 3^. 6</. 

"A capital story of youthful adventure .... Sea- I "Sea yams have always been in favour witli 
loving boys will find few pleasanter gift books this boys, but this, v.ritten in abrisk style by a thorough 
season than ' The African Cruiser.' .— //o»n ' sailor, is crammed full of adventures." — Tittus. 

Second Edition. 
BRAVE MEN'S FOOTSTEPS. A Book of Example and Anecdote for 
Young People. By the Editor of "Men who have Kisen." With Four Illus- 
trations, by C. Doyle. Crown 8vo. Price 3.J. dd. 

"A readable and instructive volume." — Exa- I win the favour of those who, in choosing a gift for 
tniner, a boy, would consult his moral development as 

" The little volume is precisely of the stamp to I wellashistemporary ple2isure."— />ai/)'^"''ir''"/'''- 
Second Edition. 

PLUCKY FELLOWS. A Book for Boys. By Stephen J. Mac Kenna. 

With Six Illustrations. Crown 8vo. Price 3J. (>d. 

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which have been issued this year." — Morning out in a manly straiehtfor^vard manner that is sure 
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Second Edition. 

Georg-e Macdonald. With Nine Illustrations by Arthur Kughes. Crown 8vo. 

Price 3^. (>d. 

" The cleverest child we kno'.v assures us she has I will, we are convinced, accept that verdict upon 
read this story through five times. Mr. Macdonald | his little work as final." — Spectator. 

THE TRAVELLING MENAGERIE. By Charles Camden, Author 

of " Hoity Toity." With Ten Illustrations by J. Mahoney. Crown 8vo. -^s. (>d. 

"A capital little book .... deserves a wide | " A ver>' attractive story." — Public Ofmioii. 
circulation among our boys and girls."— //t'/o-. | 

the French of Eugene Pelletan. By Colonel E. P. De L'Hoste. In fc-ip. 
Svo, with an Engraved Frontispiece. New Edition. Price -^s. 6d. 

"A touching record of the struggles in the cause 
of religious liberty of a real man." — Graf hie. 

" There is a poetical simplicity and picturesque- 
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pure love, and the spectacle ofa household brought 
up in the fear of the Lord . . . ." — Illustrated 
London Keius, 

THE DESERTED SHIP. A Real Story of the Atlantic. By Cupples 
Howe, Master Mariner. Illustrated by Townley Grreen. Cr. 8vo. Price 3^. ()d. 

" Curious adventures with bears, seals, ami I'ther | the story deals, and will much interest boys whf> 
Arctic animals, and with scarcely more human have a spice of romance in their composition."— 
Hsquimaux, form the mass of material with which | Courant. 


Camden. With Eleven Illustrations. Crown Svo. Price 3^. 6</. 

" Relates very pleasantly the history of a charm- I them to do riglit. There are many shrewd lessons 
ing little fellow who meddles always with a kindly I to be picked up in this clever little story." — Public 

disposition wiih other people's alfairs and liclps | O/i/iwn. 

THE BOY SLAVE IN BOKHARA. A Tale of Central Asia. By 

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SLAVONIC FAIRY TALES. From Russian, Servian, Polish, and 
Bohemian Sources. Translated by John T. Naake, of the British Museum. Crown 
Svo. With Four Illustrations. Price 5.^. 

" A most choice and charming selection and thirteen Servian, in Mr. Naak^'s modest but 

The tales have an original national ring in them, serviceable collection of Sltixwiic Fairy Tales. 
and ^^■ilI be pleasant reading to thousands besides Its contents are, as a general rule, well chosen, 
children. Vet cliildren will eagerly open the and they are translated with a fidelity which 
pages, and not willingly close them, of the pretty deserves cordial praise . . . Before taking leave 
volume." — Standard. of his prettily got up volume, we ought to mention 

"English readers now have an opportunity of that its contents fully come up to the promise held 
becommg acquainted with eleven Polish and eight out in its preface." — Academy. 
Bohemian stories, as well as with eight Russian 

65, Cornhill ; &> 12, Paternoster Parv, London. 

Works Published by Henry S. -King &> Co., 17 

Books for the Young and for Lending Librares — coiithuted. 

WOMANHOOD. By Mrs. Gr. S. Reaney. Cr. Svo. With a Frontispiece, s^. 


Mac Kenua. Crown Svo. With Si.x IlUistrations. Price Si-. 

"Consisting almost entirely of startling stories of ( "Mr.MacKenna's former work, 'Plucky Fellows,' 
military adventure . . . Boys will tind them sut!i- is already a general favourite, and those who read 
ciently exciting reading." — Times. the stories of the Old Dragoon will find that he has 

"These yarns give some very spirited and in- still plenty of materials at hand for pleasant tales, 
teresting descriptions of soldiering in various parts and has lost none of his power in telling them well." 
of the world." — Spectator. I — Standard. 

FANTASTIC STORIES. Translated from the German of Ricliard 
Leander, by Paulina B. Granville. Crown 8vo. With Eight full-page lUu.stra- 
tions, by M. E. Traser-Tytler. Price sj. 

"Short, quaint, and, as they arc fitly called, fan- I "' Fantastic ' is certainly the right epithet to 
tastic, they deal with all manner of subjects." — apply to some of these strange tales." — Examiner. 
Guardian. \ 

Third Edition. 


Six Illustrations. Crown Svo. Price 5^. 

"A series of pretty tales which are half fantastic, 
half natural, and pleasantly quaint, as befits stories 
intended for the young.^^Daiiy Telegraph. 

" A pretty little book which fanciful young per- 

sons will appreciate, and which will remind its 
readers of many a legend, and many an. imaginary 
virtue attached to tne gems they are so fond of 
wearing."— A) J-/. 

THE GREAT DUTCH ADMIRALS. By Jacob de Liefde. Crown 

8vo. With Eleven Illustrations by Townley Grreen and others. Price 5.?. 

" May be recommended as a wholesome present [ "A really good book." — Standard. 
for boys. They wiU find in it numerous tales of *' A really excellent book." — Spectator, 
adventure." — Athciiceian. \ 

THE TASMANIAN LILY. By James Bonwick. Crown Svo. 
With Frontispiece. Price 5.?. 

" An interesting and useful work." — Hour. | ceived, and are full of those touches which give 

"The characters of the story are capitally con- | them a natural appearance." — Public Opinion. 


LAND. By James Bonwick. Crown Svo. With a Frontispiece. Price 5^-. 

"He illustrates the career of the bushranger lialf i are. to say the least, exquisite, and his representa- 
a century ago ; and this he does in a highly credit- j tions of character are very marked," — Edinburgh 
able manner ; his dehncations of life in the bush Coitrant, 

PHANTASMION. A Fahy Romance. By Sara Coleridge. With an 
Introductory Preface by the Ilig-ht Hon. Liord Coleridge of Ottery S. 
Mary. A new Edition. In i vol. Crown Svo. Price js. 6d. 

" The readers of this fairy tale will find them- 1 read it were it twice tlie length, closing the book 
selves dwelling for a time in a veri«table region of with a feeling of regret that the repast was at iiu 
romance, breathing an atmosphere of unreality, | cud." — I'anity Fair. 

and surrounded by supernatural beings." — Morn- \ " A beautiful conception of a rarely-gifted mind.'' 
ing Post. \—F.xa'niner. 

" Tliis delightful work . . . We would gladly have | 

Greneral Sir Vincent Eyre, C.B., K.C.S.I., &c. Square crown Svo. With 
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Pliaraoh Land. [ Home Land. J AV'onder Land. | Rkine Land. 

" A collection of pleasant and well-written I "The conceits here and there are reallj' very 
stanzas . . . abounding in real fun and humour." amusing." — Stajtdard, 
— Literary World. ' 


Author of " Brampton Recory." i vol. Crown Svo. Price 6s. 

"These tales possess conside able merit." — I " A neat and chatty little vohuiie." — Hour. 
Court yournal. \ 

65, Cornhill I 6^ 12, Paternoster Pow, London. 

1 8 I Forks Published by Henry S. King d^ Co., 



jNIessrs. Henry S. King& Co. have the pleasure to announce that 
they are issuing an Edition of the Laureate's works, in Ten Monthly 
Volumes, foolscap 8vo, entitled " The Cabinet Edition," at Ilalf-a- 
Crouni each, ^hich will contain the whole of Mr. Tennyson's works. 
The first volume is illustrated by a beautiful Photographic Portrait ; 
and the other volumes each contain a Frontispiece. They will be 
tastefully bound in Crimson Cloth, and will be issued in the 
following order : — 

Vol. \\,\. 










Volumes I. to IV. ore now ready. 
.Subscribers' names received by all Booksellers. 

77/ 1.- other /onus in ivhicli Mr. TciiiiysoiCs Works are piiblished are : — 

s. d. 

rOEiM.S. Small Svo 9 


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IDYLLS OF THE KING. Small Svo 7 o 

,, ,, Collected. Small Svo 120 

ENOCH ARDEN, &c. Sm.all Svo 60 



SELECTIONS FROM THE ABOVE WORKS. Squ.ire Svo, clolh extra . .50 
SONGS FROM THE AliOVE WORKS. Square Svo, cloth e.vtra . . ..50 

IN ME.MORIAM. Sm.all Svo 60 

LIBRARY EDITION OF MR. TENNYSON'S WORKS. 6 vols. Post Svo, c.ich 10 6 

neat case ............... 50 o 

II gilt edges 55 o 


By Alfred Tennyson. With Music by Arthur Sullivan. 4C0, cloth, gilt extra 21 o 

POEMS. Illustrated Edition, 410 21 o 

65, Corn h ill ; &= 12, Paternoster Row, London. 

Works Published by Henry S. Xing &= Co., 



LYRICS OF LOVE, From Shakspeare to Tennyson. Selected and arranged 
by W. Davenport Adams, Junr. Fcap. 8vo, cloth extra, gilt edges, y. (id. 

"We cannot too hiijlily commenil this work, de- I "Carefully Eclected and eleg-antly K'"t up ■ .^It 
lightful in its contents and so pretty in its outward is particularly rich in poems from liviuj; writert." — 
adornini^s." — Stajtdard. ' yo/m Bull. 

WILJ.IAM CULLEN BRYANT'S POEMS. Red-line Edition. Hand- 
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These are tlie only coitpleie English Editions sanctioned by the Author. 
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one who obtained the fame and position of a classic 
earlier, or has kept them longer, than W'illiaiii 
Cullen Bryant . . . A singularly simple and straight- 
forward fashion of verse. Very rarely lias any 
writer preserved such an even level of merit 
throughout his poems. Like some other American 
poets, Mr. Bryant is particularly happy in transla- 

tion. " — Academy. 

" \\'e arc glad to possess so neat and elegant an 
edition of the works of the most thoughtful, grace- 
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British Quarterly Re-view. 
I " Some of the purest and tenderest poetry of this 
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ENGLISH SONNETS. Collected and Arranged by John Dennis. 

Fcap. 8vo. Elegantly bound. Price 3^'. (d. 

' Mr. Dennis has shown great judgment in tlii 

" An exquisite selection, 
lover of poetry will consu 

L selection which every 
again and again with 

delight. The notes arc very useful. . . The volume 
is oiie for which English literature owes Mr. Dennis 
the heartiest thanks." — Spectator. 

Second Edition. 


!Ba3nies, Editor of '* Lyra Anglicana/' &c. Fcap 8vo. Cloth extra, 3^. (id. 

" All the pieces breathe the spirit of true poetry, siderable power, nnd will be certain to be apprc- 
and are characterised by deep rehj^jiouii feelinjf." I ciated by that larg'c and increasing class which 
— Leeds Mercury. ' loves sacred poetry."— C/(/r;r/t Herald. 

" A tasteful collection ©f devotional poetry of a " A most acceptable volume of sacred poetry ; a 
very hijjh standard of excellence. The pieces are ; good addition to the gift books of the season." — 
short, mostly original, and instinct, for the most ' Rock. 

part, with the most ardent spirit of devotion." — j "These arc poems in which every word has a 
Standard. < meaning, and from which it would be unjust to 

•' A very valuable and attractive batch of most : remove a stanza . . . Some of the best pieces in 
readable verses . . . This collection is cue of con- the book are anonymous." — Pall Mall Gazette. 

%* The above four books may also be had handsomely bound in 
Morocco with gilt edges. 

THE DISCIPLES. A New Poem. By Mrs. Hamilton King*. Second 

Edition, with some Notes. Crown Svo. Price 7^. 6ci. 

*' A higher impression of the imaginative power , could scarcely deny to ' Ugo Bassi'thc praise of 
of the writer is jjiven by the objective truthfulness being a work worthy in every way to live . . . The 
of the glimpses she gives us of her ma.stcr, help- [ style of her writinij is pure and simple in the last 
injj us to understand how he could be regarded j degree, and all is natural, truthful, and free from 
by some as a heartless charlatan, by others as an 1 the slightest shade of obscurity in thought or die- 
inspired sn.'mt."—. tcti^e?Jiy. tion . .. The book altogether is one that merits 

"Mrs. King can write good verses. The de- ' unqualified admiration and praise."' — Dally Tele- 
scription of the capture of the Croats at Mcstre is 1 ^raph. 

extremely spirited ; there is a pretty picture of the | " Throughout it breathes restrained passion and 
road to Rome, from the Abruzzi, and another of lofty sentiment, which flow out now and then as a 
Palermo." — AthentEuui. i stream widening to bless the lands into powerful 

" In her new volume Mrs. Kinghas far surpassed music." — British Quarterly Rf<.'u"iL'. 
her previous attempt. Even the most hostile critic 

ASPROMONTE, AND OTHER POEMS. By the same Author. Second 

Edition. Cloth, 4.?. 6d. 

" The volume is anonymous, but there is no reason 
for the author to be ashamed of it. The ' Poems 
of Italy ' are evidently inspired by genuine enthu- 
si.asm in the cause espoused; and one of them. 

' The Execution of Felice Orsini,' has much poetic 
merit, the event celebrated being told with ilra- 
niatic force." — Atheite€u»i. 

• The verse is fluent and free." — Spectator. 

65, Corn hill ; 6^ 12, Paternoster Rozc, London. 

IVor/cs Published by Henry S. King 6^ Co., 

Poetry — coiitimicd. 

SONGS FOR MUSIC. Ky Four Friends. 
Square crown 8vo. Price ^s. 


Reginald A. Gatty. Stephen H. Gatty. 

Greville A. Chester. Juliana H. Ewing. 
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■' The charm of simplicity is manifest through- 
Out, and the subjects arc well chosen and .suc- 
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" Oiie of the most delightful books of verse ol 
the season." — Mirror. 

" The collection is pleasint' and varied." — //m/- 
denjield ChyoimU: 

WORKS. Collected Kdition, in 3 Vols., 
price 6i-. each. Vol. I. contains, — " I'.al- 
lads and Romances;" " Ballads and Poems 
of Life," and a Portrait of the Author. 

Vol. II.—" Ballads and Poems of Life ;" 
"Allegories and Sonnets." 

Vol. III. — "Crniskeen Sonnets;" "Book 
of Orm ;" " Political Mystics." 

" Holdiug. as Mr. Buchanan does, such a con- 
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ing public will be duly thankful for this handsome 
edition of the poet's works." — Civil Service 

"Taking the poems before us as experiments, 
we hold that they are very full of promise ... In 
the romantic ballad, Mr. Buchanan shows real 
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" If Mr. Buchanan were an unknown poet, this 
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Liverpool .itbion. 

" We can conscientiously recommend this col- 
lected edition to every admirer of Mr. Buchanan s 
poetry." — iilasgo-u .Veivs. 

8vo. Price is. dd. 

This is a Collection of Verses expressive 
of religious feeling, written from a 'Theistic 

"AH who are interesteil in devotional verse 
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DOWN. A vulume of Poems. By tlie 
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By Allison Hughes. Fcap. Svo. 

POEMS. l!y Annette F. C. Knight. Fcap. 
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COSMOS. A Poem. Svo. 3^.6^'. 

SIHJKCT.— Nature in the and in the Pre- 
sent.— Man in the Past and in the Present.— The 


By E. Carpenter. Fcap. Svo. ss. 

"luiu.inyof these poems there is a force of 
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POEMS. By Augustus Taylor. Fcap. 8va 
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Howell. Fcap. Svo. Cloth, 5^. 

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Boswell, M.A. 0.\on. Crown Svo. 5^. 

" .Most of these